How to nail your first impression

Wednesday 19. 2018

First impressions count. New research suggests that a first impression is so powerful that they are more important than anything you may say thereafter. On average these impressions are formed within the first 7 seconds of a meeting. So, you have to make those crucial moments count, especially in a situation such as an interview.  

Making a first impression

In order to be remembered for all of the right reasons. (Which is crucial in those final decision making stages of the interview process). You’re going to want to make sure that your first impression is a positive one.


It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.

Not only this, but smiling presents you as a positive and charismatic individual as opposed to someone who looks uncomfortable and unbothered. An American study actually found that smiling upon a first meeting helps people to remember you later. These are exactly the kind of points you want to score as an interviewee.

Smiling has been linked to longevity and stress relief in a large number of surveys. Since you’ll be wanting to portray yourself as calm and confident in an interview, smiling for stress relief is another way to take the edge off.

Just be mindful that you don’t over do it. Whilst smiling is a great way to present yourself as an approachable and friendly individual, there is such a thing as going OTT. Avoid looking inauthentic by knowing when’s the time to smile, and when isn’t. Smiling at the initial meeting and during conversations is fine, but having a permanent cheshire cat style grin affixed to your face is enough to put an interviewer off you all together.


Though it can be hard to keep your cool during an interview (which is of course a naturally stressful time) it does help if you appear confident when you speak with your potential employer. If an employers first impression of you is ‘confident’ then you’re on the right tracks. 

You could have many wonderful things to say, but if you fail to nail the delivery then they can often get overlooked. To appear confident, even when you may not feel it, follow our tips:

  • Smile. It is proven to reduce stress and also makes you appear more comfortable (as well as approachable).
  • Ask questions. As this allows for the interviewer to talk and therefore gives you a break. At the same time as this, asking questions indicates that you are interested in the position.
  • Practice your upcoming interview before with friends or family so you know what to expect.
  • And lastly, breathe. Breathing techniques are proven to calm your nerves and anxieties. You can find plenty of material online on how to do them.

The handshake

A lot can be said with a handshake. Coming across too soft can seem unenthusiastic, whereas coming across too firm can be seen as domineering. So, how do you strike the right balance?

After learning that an astounding 7 in 10 people in the UK have expressed nervousness about ‘getting a handshake wrong’, scientists have uncovered that the best handshake is perfected through a firm squeeze and 3 shakes. Oh, and you should always maintain eye-contact throughout.

Now that you know how to execute the perfect handshake, you need to follow through on it. In a wave of modern day greetings such as fist bumps, high fives and waves – the art of the common handshake has been almost lost. At the end of the day though, nothing says maturity and respect like this greeting – so always ensure that you initiate one even if your interviewer does not.

Eye contact

It’s common knowledge that eye contact is vital in forming a lasting and positive impression. Looking someone in the eye when speaking conveys that you are confident and interested in the conversation.

As with all the points made above – it’s important not to overdo it. Make breaks in the eye contact. Frankly, staring somebody out for the duration of your interview is kinda’ creepy and will get you remembered for all the wrong reasons. Don’t be ‘that’ person, maintain your eye contact at a level that is confident… without being odd.


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