According to Forbes, you have 7 seconds to make a first impression. Some research even suggests that a tenth of a second is all it takes some people to start determining some traits about you. Since it seems all this happens at lightspeed, we’d like to give you some top tips on how you might go about making a good first impression.
Whether you’re making this first impression in person or virtually, it’s the same points which stick in someone’s head. So if it’s for an interview or for life in general, knowing how to make a good first impression is key.
Dress Appropriately for the Situation
This should go without saying, but if you only have 7 seconds whilst the other person is taking in information about you, you don’t want any distractions – like them wondering if you were running late this morning, or deliberately have a disheveled appearance. Dressing and grooming appropriately for the situation is key. This doesn’t mean you can’t dress down if that’s what the situation calls for, but simply think of how you want to present yourself at your best. Showing you’ve made an effort with you appearance can go a long way and shows respect. Let the other person know they are worth your time and effort.
This one has a few elements.
- Volume: you want to be heard, so don’t speak too quietly. But equally, if there’s no ambient noise, there’s no need to shout either! This is especially important on video, make sure you can be heard and that you’re not going to deafen someone when they listen to you.
- Confidence: you want to have your words heard so speak clearly and not too quickly, make sure that people can take in what you’re saying.
- Concise: it’s always better to land your point with as few words as possible. Often, it’s easy to ramble or provide way too much detail to a story. Don’t get too off topic! Get to the point that you want to make quickly but at the same time say enough so that everyone understands what you want to get across.
Now, we don’t mean plaster a huge grin on your face all the time; you still need to be taken seriously. But an initial smile during those first few seconds puts everyone at ease and makes people more likely to want to engage with you. It’s a sign of warmth and welcoming in a first encounter.
Make Eye Contact
In person this is easy enough to achieve. Don’t stare at the ground. But when you’re on video to make eye contact with the person on the other side, even if they’ll be watching back later, you need to look into the camera. It’ll take a bit of pretending, but just remember that someone will be on the other side of that camera, so try to engage with them.
Use Your Body (language)
Your body language can give someone the wrong opinion about you. If you’re slouched over it could look like you don’t care, if you’re arms are crossed across your chest it could make you look guarded. Bear in mind what your body language might be telling the other person and if it matches what you want to convey.
Good posture exudes confidence. Confidence makes a good impression. It’s sometimes as simple as holding your head up high, and walking into a room confidently. Not to mention, slouching can give an air of not caring about the situation at hand, which isn’t normally what we’re going for.
Show Your Personality
Be memorable and most importantly be authentic, incorporate a bit of your sense of humour, if you have specific interests, share them or drop them in as anecdotes. You still want it to be very much you.
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
People are like magnets, we are drawn to positive people as though they were magnets for more positivity in our lives. Try to exude positivity where possible (and where appropriate – no need to be too chipper about a natural disaster or anything).
With Showcaser, you can control your first impression, create a free video profile that gets stored as an easy-to-share link. Embed the video link in your CV, or simply send it across in a message or email. Click here to Showcase yourself and take the pressure of that first impression.