First impressions and how to make them

By Ahmed Wafi

Is it really ALL that important?

First impressions are made within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, and from there you can mostly tell if you want to get to know the other person better. Which is why it matters what you do in that first seven seconds. Like Mr. Krabs says “Time is money. And if you’re wastin’ time, then you're wastin' money!”

Here’s how you can make a good first impression:

It’s not ALL about you
Yeah, it’s cool and all to flaunt your strengths to impress the new person you just met but when talking about yourself turns into bragging, people start to appreciate it much less. In short, it’s a turn-off. In the words of contemporary poet Kendrick Lamar: “Sit down, be humble.”

If you’re excited about meeting someone new whether it’s a date or a potential employer, showing your enthusiasm will always leave a good first impression because it reflects a genuine interest. However, don’t fake your enthusiasm – people can see right through it and if your enthusiasm isn’t reciprocated, you might start to feel a little less excited.

This is a given but according to Chua Chai Ping, HR Director of Experian Malaysia, respect covers different aspects. One which is most apparent is clothing. “Dressing the part entails dressing with self-respect and dressing respectfully to the audience”. Another element of respect during the first impression is the handshake. IMPORTANT NOTE: Never give spaghetti handshakes.

Make a connection, not an impression
If your goal is to merely make a first impression, that’s all you’ll ever make. Sincerity goes a long way so keep in mind that meeting someone is not to just make a good first impression but to also build your network of connections.

Be yourself and be blunt
Be blunt while looking sharp! Isn’t that wonderful? Avoid having any scripts for questions because that would lead you to religiously follow the script and should anything go wrong, your script won’t help you! Answer any questions asked as honestly as you can and keep in mind that if you have to think about it, it’s not working.

It’s not the end of the world if you get it wrong
Even if it was a VIP. What’s important is that you maintained the level of respect you normally would when meeting anyone else and clung to your values. You don’t have to be someone else to impress everyone else!

Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

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