THE BLOG

How to Conquer Your Only Chance of a Good First Impression

02/25/2015 03:24 am ET | Updated Apr 26, 2015

Have you ever met someone and not have had the need to judge him or her at least minimally to get a better feel of what this person stands for? Many of us do this without ourselves knowing it, though it's such an exposed practice that we do it all the time.

It isn't necessarily bad at all times either, there are good judgements and bad judgements, of course. Then there are those people who prepare for being judged, and put up their best appearance, because they know that the first impression is going to be everything.

You could apply that to job interviews, or taking your kids to school for the first time. It's all about how you present yourself. Business deals see this happening all the time, even if they happen over a simple medium such as email.

The key thing is always going to be your facial expressions and appearance, after which comes the overall posture and how you're presenting yourself visually and mutually. But, what else can we do to make sure that we don't leave the wrong impression on someone important? A bit of salt and pepper maybe?

1. Brush-up

Even if you're the hipster type and don't care at all about your professional visual appearance, it is still a good practice to just do it for that particular case. Equipping yourself with professional gear shows that you care and that you're being serious, versus being hopeful.

2. Count the Minutes

Every minute counts when someone is waiting on you to arrive and present yourself. In most situations, being timely is key. If you can't make it at the exact time, do whatever it takes to explain yourself before you miss the actual interview, date, meeting, etc,. If you can't make it now, what gives that you will make it tomorrow?

3. Small Talk

What's the weather, right? No!

You may want to be ready to dish up some small talk upon arriving, most importantly to ease up the atmosphere and beforehand make a good impression of you not being afraid to spark conversations, and being engaged in them. Lindsay Holmes has some tips for us on how to become better small talk conversationalists.

Maybe you can learn a thing or two about the person you're going to meet beforehand, and then talk to them about that; everyone knows how special people feel when we talk about them, not us.

4. Be Positive, Be Yourself

There is nothing worse than a miserable person arriving at your desk, complaining how bad of a start to the day he has had, or worse - how bad the last few months have been. Never take that stuff with you, because it will imprint a massive emotional scar on the person that you're delivering this to.

Be open, be receptive to new things, and just be yourself; it's the best thing you can do, period.

5. Listen

We always bring with us some hopes and dreams, and sometimes those thoughts can interfere with our ability to listen carefully to what is being said.

You might think that the person is talking about "how great it is to sell many cars in this company", but what he actually is implying is that "he would love to have someone on-board that would be able to expand that growth even further". A big difference!