They say first impressions are everything, and this is perhaps most true in the professional world. Whether you’re interviewing for a new job, working with someone for the first time, or talking to a potential client or customer, the first impression you make will go a long way towards a positive result.
There’s no magic recipe to make a good first impression in your professional life, but if you follow the tips below, you’ll be off to a good start!
Tips For Making A Good First Impression In The Workplace
For better or worse, a big part of peoples’ first impression of you is based on how you’re dressed. So, make sure to select the appropriate attire for the occasion.
For an interview or a first day of work, as an example, business casual attire, such as nice jeans and a button-up shirt, is always a safe bet.
Even if you’re meeting someone for the first time virtually, via a video meeting, you should still put some effort into your appearance. Make sure to take care of all your personal hygiene and grooming, and at least select a nice shirt to wear for the meeting.
It might seem like a no-brainer that introducing yourself is the first step towards making a good impression at work, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this — at least not well.
Introducing yourself in a professional setting goes far beyond just saying your name. By now, you might be wondering, “how do I introduce myself professionally?”
Well, first off, make sure to be friendly and smile when you’re introducing yourself. Start by saying hello, followed by your name and a little bit more information about yourself.
If you’re introducing yourself to a colleague at a new job, you might tell them what your previous job was, for example. You should also say you look forward to working with them.
If you’re introducing yourself to a potential client or someone at a different company that you want to form a connection with, make sure to tell them what your role and responsibilities are at your company.
In an interview setting, it’s a good idea to thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you as part of your introduction.
Asking questions shows you’re engaged with whatever interaction you’re having. If you’re interviewing for a new job, go prepared with a list of general questions to ask about the role and the company.
As you’re interviewing, make sure to ask questions about different topics that come up to show interest. If you’re just starting a new job, asking your new colleagues lots of questions shows you are excited and eager to learn, not to mention you’ll get better at doing your job faster!
Don’t Be On Your Phone
As tempted as you may be to check your phone when you feel it vibrating, leave it in your pocket until you’re in private. Checking your phone when you’re in the middle of a meeting or other interaction with someone comes across as incredibly rude.
Instead, make eye contact with the person you’re talking to and give them your full attention for the duration of the conversation.
Use Positive Body Language
The way you carry yourself can also play a big role in what first impressions people form of you. Make sure to always stand or sit up straight and hold your head up when you’re engaging with others.
Avoid crossing your arms or legs, which can indicate that you are disinterested or closed off. When you introduce yourself, look people in the eyes and give them a firm (but not finger-crushing) handshake and a genuine smile.
Taking notes during a meeting of any sort shows you’re listening and care about what’s being said.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re meeting with a boss, a coworker, a client, or anyone else — keep a notebook and a pen handy and jot down anything that you think is interesting or important.
Even if you never look at the notes again, doing this will help you make a good impression on anyone you’re meeting with.
Be A Go-getter
This is especially important for making a good impression in a new job. Show initiative, enthusiasm, and willingness to go above and beyond the bare minimum.
If a coworker asks you for help with something, say yes, even if it’s not part of your official job description. If a manager asks for a volunteer to take on an extra task or assignment, be the first one to volunteer yourself.
This type of behavior shows others that you’re a team player and that you’re not just there for an easy paycheck (even if you are).
Don’t Interrupt People
Even if you’re dying to make a comment or ask a question when someone else is talking, patiently wait your turn to speak.
Interrupting people can come across as very rude, and the person who you interrupted might take offense and form a bad first opinion about you.