14 Tips For Making a Great First Impression

14 Tips For Making a Great First Impression

What is one tip to make a great first impression?

Here is what 14 thought-leaders had to say:

  • Remember Their Name
  • Be Punctual
  • Take an Interest in the Person You’re Speaking To
  • Be Aware of Your Diction
  • Come Prepared
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions
  • Take Notes
  • Put Your Cell Phone Away 
  • Stop Talking and Listen
  • Avoid Interrupting 
  • Show Your Sense of Humor
  • Pay Attention to the Other Person
  • Give a Compliment
  • End it on a Good Note

Remember Their Name

Ending the first interaction with “Nice to meet you, (name)” creates a great first impression. It gives off that you were an attentive listener and cared about the person and what they had to say. A great tip to use if you are not the best with names is to associate the person’s name with someone you already know. If you meet a Jason, you could imagine this new Jason having a conversation with a Jason that you were childhood friends with, for example. It’s remarkable how great it works!

Jacob Dayan, Community Tax

Be Punctual

For example, if you are supposed to engage in a Zoom meeting with a client, you could log into the meeting a few minutes early just to be safe rather than waiting any longer and potentially getting distracted by something else. Be careful about punctuality because even simple efforts such as these can go a long way in showing respect.

Joaquín Roca, Minerva

Take an Interest in the Person You’re Speaking To

One way to immediately build a rapport with somebody is to take an interest in what they’re saying. Many people make the mistake of waiting for their turn to speak rather than actively listening and engaging with what the other person is saying. This can make you seem conceited and self-centered, which can inhibit your ability to build new working relationships.

Use positive body language to demonstrate interest and encourage them to elaborate on their thoughts. Body language is a crucial marker of interest that people pick up on, both consciously and unconsciously. Small considerations like maintaining eye contact, leaning forward, and orienting your body toward the person speaking all help to convey your engagement and curiosity. In combination with positive body language, you should also use vocal cues to demonstrate that you’ve been listening. You can achieve this by repeating the speaker’s last three or four words, which is called mirroring.

Mike Grossman, GoodHire

Be Aware of Your Diction

Your ability to be sure of yourself and the words that you say, such that they are true to who you are is one of the biggest keys to making an awesome impression. Everyone has a unique conversation style, and the ability to develop yours without sacrificing individuality is a fantastic way to make yourself memorable during first impressions. While this may not always get you in with prospective employers or contacts, it will ensure that those who pursue deeper relationships with you want it because of who your genuine self is.

Boye Fajinmi, TheFutureParty

Come Prepared

No matter what the reason for your meeting is, preparation is key. When you come in with the necessary background information, that shows your resourcefulness, motivation, and proactivity. In these times when every second counts, you will be noticed when the meeting can easily flow when everyone is on the same page.

Patty Hickok, NANA Regional Corporation

Ask Open-Ended Questions

The most common error people make while making the first impression is believing they have to impress the other person with their enormous knowledge.

Your goal is to create a discourse that is memorable and entertaining, not to impress them. So, attempt to entice the other individual to come out. Also, pay attention to what they have to say.

Remember that people enjoy talking about themselves, so ask open-ended inquiries such as, “What are you most enthusiastic about right now?”

Axel Hernborg, Tripplo.com

Take Notes

The onboarding process usually consists of absorbing a large amount of information. While attentiveness is appreciated, one way to make a great impression is to take notes. This simple activity conveys two important messages to your employer. It shows that you are detail-oriented and that you care about the position enough to where you want to make certain you get every one of those details correct.

In addition, it also demonstrates you are an excellent listener, which is a prerequisite for good job performance. Most employers agree that a good communication ratio is 70% listening to 30% speaking. Taking notes keeps you rooted in this metric. By taking notes, you are letting it be known that you are enthusiastic and ready for your new position.

Woody Sears, Hearhere

Put Your Cell Phone Away 

There are many things that can draw our attention away from our current space, and maybe the greatest culprit of this condition is our cell phone. One way to make a great first impression is to put your phone on silent and avoid sneaking peeks. There are few things that can annoy a fellow co-worker or your employer more than taking a look at your phone while they are mid-sentence.

By keeping your attention in the moment, and engaging in conversations in which all your focus is on the people you are speaking with, you will give off the impression of caring, politeness, as well as being detail-oriented. People, when they are addressing you, want to feel like they are at the center of your universe. By putting your cell phone away, you will give that great first impression that they are.

Cody Candee, Bounce

Stop Talking and Listen

This sounds counterintuitive but I gave my husband this advice when he went on a job interview: stop talking and listen. Don’t immediately start talking about yourself. Ask the other person questions and genuinely listen. Not only does this build trust in the other person, but it also allows you to find a common ground seamlessly and create a flowing conversation.

Megan Kennedy Grundén, Arc Arise Consulting

Avoid Interrupting

When meeting someone for the first time, it is important to make a good impression. One way to do that is by not interrupting when the other person is speaking. Interrupting can be seen as rude and can ruin your chances of making a good first impression. Interrupting can also be counterproductive. If you cut the other person off, they may not fully explain their point or may not be interested in continuing the conversation. Let the other person finish their thoughts, and you’ll likely have a more productive conversation.

Sam Santa, Zeitholz

Show Your Sense of Humor

People are attracted to people who can make them laugh and find humor in things that are going on around them. Even if you’re not a natural comedian, keep the discussion light by laughing and smiling as needed. Using a joke as an icebreaker might be an excellent way to start a conversation and create a good first impression.

Kathryn Smithson, PathSocial

Pay Attention to the Other Person

Everyone likes being valued and getting attention. And for an impactful first impression, make sure that you’re paying enough attention to the other person and are aware of his/her presence around you. Greet them in an enthusiast’s voice and display your 100% interest.

For official meetings, make sure you thank the other person to take out the time. If the meeting is personal then use humor to make another person comfortable. Address them by their name to make a personal connection. All these things will let the other person feel that you’re connected with the other person. They will always remember this conversation as they will feel valued and welcomed.

Jonathan Tian, Mobitrix

Give a Compliment

Finding something positive about the person you’re talking to can help you build a good impression. If you’ve heard good things about their work, you can say, “I’ve heard great things about your work!” Keep in mind that it is not appropriate to comment on a person’s physical appearance; instead, focus on clothing, accessories, and hairstyles. When you give someone a compliment, they will appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness.

Danny Trichter, Accessibility Checker

End It on a Good Note

End your first impression on a good note by sending an email post-interview or meeting. This is an extra touch to show that you care to continue the relationship after your first introduction. In the email, you should include action items that continue the conversation, such as “let’s schedule our next meeting, at your earliest convenience!” 

Thylan Le, Markitors


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