We all know the importance of first impressions. Some people may care less about them than others, but there’s no getting around them in the world of work where time is moolah. Within a few minutes of meeting a person, we’re deciding whether they are interesting, valuable, attractive, funny or dull as dishwater.
You can train yourself not to write someone off before the minute is up, but society at large can’t seem to shake away the culture of looking someone up and down in order to determine their net worth. What’s more, you can’t count on the fact that the person opposite you is quite so progressive.
They might not be as patient as you’d hoped, or as tolerant. In social situations we have the luxury of surrounding ourselves with the people who bring out the best in us, but in the world of work, we can’t always be so choosy.
So how to dazzle someone into discovering your true amazingness in 30 seconds?
- Get enough sleep (you look better without toothpaste on your face)
- Arrive early (it shows you care)
- Dress like you care (at least a little bit)
- Do your research (don’t ask a CEO what their company does because it sounds “like…oh soooo super interesting”, you should know to whom you are talking and why)
- Don’t comment on someone’s linguistic abilities (someone once told me my English was “really good”, another “had no idea I was a native speaker” – both unflattering)
- Admit when you don’t know something. Humility is a virtue.
- Don’t apologise. You have nothing to be sorry for. You didn’t kill anyone.
- Follow up (get those contact deets and use them!)
Article by Laura Hemmati, Cofounder Leadarise