Making the Best First Impression

You only get one chance to make a first impression – is a comment I made recently in Business Insider. First impressions count with your interviewer, new boss and co-workers. How you conduct yourself in the first few minutes – or even seconds — of meeting someone can have a profound impact. And when you’re interviewing, meeting your new boss and co-workers, you’re being evaluated with a microscope: your handshake, eye contact, smile, professionalism, how you dress — all make a difference.

But the first impression is not the only impression you need to make . . . how you look and act on a daily basis can make or break job opportunities.

To make a good impression at work:

  • Arrive on time — Or ahead of time if it’s an interview. Arriving on time shows commitment (and respect for others).
  • Introduce yourself — And learn everyone else’s name.
  • Listen — Don’t do all the talking. Listen to what’s being asked and mirror back what’s said as appropriate to make sure you’re on the same page.
  • Take interest in others — Whether it’s your interviewer, boss or coworkers, a core rule for success in business and life is, if you want others interested in you, be interested in them.
  • Dress for success — no matter the corporate style, well groomed and professional is always “in.” Keep a blazer handy if you’re not sure. Accessories can take your professional wardrobe up a notch without fuss (scarves or pocket squares, belts, etc.)

Remember: It’s easy to let your guard down once you’re on the job. But the truth is that your work and performance is still under some level of scrutiny until you’ve really proven yourself. It takes time to earn the trust of your boss and coworkers. Do your best work and avoid becoming complacent.

For more of my tips on making a good first impression read:

14 tricks for making a great first impression with the hiring manager

16 easy ways to make a great first impression on your new boss

How to get your new coworkers to like you from the moment you meet them