There are 3 main things that matter when making a first impression, the first? Your appearance. Making sure your hair is well groomed, men, have your beards groomed as well. Ladies, wear light makeup, nothing too distracting. Same goes for clothes, make sure they are clean and look clean! You won’t get too far into the conversation with whoever you’re talking to if you look a mess. Dress to impress! Always dress business professional instead when attending an interview or network event. Even if the interview is for a part time summer job, make sure you set off a good first impression by looking professional, this will show the employer that you really do care about this job opening.
The second thing someone will notice about you other than your physical appearance is your handshake. Is your hand sweaty? Was it firm? Or was it too loose? Believe it or not this says a ton about you and how prepared you are. If the handshake is too loose or your hand is a bit sweaty the person you are meeting might think you are nervous or don’t want to be there. One suggestion my advisor gave me was to always try my firmest handshake. “You’re not going to break their hand, trust me.” Not sure if this applies to everyone or just me because I am a girl and we are not as firm as men. However, this advice has helped me make a great first impression with employers before my interviews.
Lastly, make sure that you introduce yourself! A lot of times we rush these words out because we are nervous but if your introduction doesn’t set you apart from everyone else then you might not make it to the next step. Overall, these are the biggest most important things to make a good impression. Although it may seem like common knowledge, the extent to which these matter may be more than what you think.
-- Sheyla Meza