first impression, nonverbal communication, soft skills,
NO CATEGORY / 14 December 2016
3 Steps to Mastering First Impressions
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Kirsten Jorgensen

Ironed shirt? Check. Big smile? Check. Coffee stain? Uh oh. 

It has been said that hiring managers know within the first 90 seconds whether or not they will hire you. That’s insane! How can anyone know who a person is in just 90 seconds? The answer is that they do not, but the impression that they get can tell them many things about your behavioral skills. They can probably tell if you are confident or bashful, self aware or aloof, and those are gold. Soft skills are in and recruiters are paying attention. Learn more about in-demand soft skills that can help get you hired. 

Don’t turn people away before you even open your mouth! Visual first impressions, or nonverbal communication, is a huge part of how you communicate with others. This includes your expressions, body language, etc.

For a more detailed list of what those cues are, read this article by everyday interview tips.

Here are some helpful tips to master the first impression:

Step 1: What’s your vibe?In other words, think about how you relate with others and do your best to create a connection. Show off your personality by being friendly, shy, loud, outgoing or whatever you choose to identify yourself as. But make sure you LISTEN to what others have to say, and try to understand what they are saying and where they are coming from. The better you can develop you listening skills, the better you will be "vibing" with others. Your vibe is your flow, and if you want to make a great first impression, you need to flow with others.

Step 2. Remember names.Call people by their name.  Remember that memory game we all played in grade school the first day of class, where we stood in a circle and had to remember everyone’s name? That may have been an exercise taught to us all at a young age to break the ice but really is a fundamental skill in the making. Again, LISTEN. At this step, as you’re asking questions about their life and listening to their stories, you’re also ’interviewing’ them. People will leave the interaction with a more positive perspective when someone is genuinely interested in their life. It’s not about you, its about them. And remembering names is the best way to show how much you care because it not only makes them feel important but it makes you stand out among other candidates that do not create that personal experience for the candidates. 

Step 3: The world is your friend.It is so much easier to drop the nerves when you think about the situation from a different perspective. If you get the position it’s great, if you don’t it’s really not the end of the world. The less pressure you put on yourself the more relaxed you will be. You just talked with someone for a short bit of time, but you’re on first name basis and know their life story. That means you’re in the clear! Instead of talking to them like an awkward stranger, treat them like a refreshingly close friend. Now there is no tension, you had a casual conversation, you know their name, and you have a comfortable vibe that shows your personality!

People like to be remembered and called by their name, but more importantly, it is important to show recruiters that you want this job, but you don’t need this job. Use these steps to work on your nonverbal communication and approachability and you will be set for a welcoming first impression. People will leave you wanting more because it was such a positive interaction! First impressions are huge and will be remembered for life.   

Practice making those first impressions by registering for a project with ProSky.