Following on from last week’s blog, here are some more tips to help you make a great first impression at business meetings and interviews.
Smile And The World Smiles With You
There’s no better welcome than a smiling face! It makes you appear warm, open, approachable and more importantly, confident. However, make sure your smile is natural looking otherwise you can come across as insincere. I often smile at people on my way to work just to see their reaction; most of the time I get a smile in return. Of course, there are times when people look at me like I’m from another planet, but thankfully that’s the exception, not the rule. Try it, it’ll help you get used to smiling naturally at people you don’t know.
Being positive is another big tick by your name and one of the most important traits you can learn when meeting new people. After all, who would you want to work with someone who comes across as negative?
How you feel about yourself has a huge effect on how you appear to others. Even if you think you are not showing it, if you don’t feel positive it will come across in your body language. Positivity is a key factor in self-confidence and it feeds on itself, so if you start to feel positive, it’ll improve your confidence, which in turn will help you to be more positive about yourself – a virtuous circle!
One quick way to improve your positivity is to catch the negative self-talk – the thoughts that run constantly through your mind – and turn it positive. This has been shown to give you an emotional boost and improve your self-confidence.
And the good news about being positive does not end there. It also has an effect on other areas of your life such as health, relationships and general well-being.
I don’t think I need to tell you how important it is for you to… sorry, I got distracted there, now what was I saying? Oh yes, it’s important for you to pay attention when attending business meetings and interviews. Imagine how embarrassing it will be if you have to ask the other person to repeat their question because you were too busy looking out of the window, fiddling with your hair or, worst of all, checking a text? It really does not give a very good impression at all. In fact, I’d say it’s best to switch off mobiles whilst you are in the meeting.
Mind Your P’s and Q’s
Believe it or not, some people think it is acceptable to swear in interviews and business meetings. Now, this does to some extent depend on who you are meeting with. If the other person swears like a trooper from the minute you meet, it may be okay to do so yourself, if you want to. But, even in these circumstances, I’d advise against it. Being courteous is another must. As my grandmother would say, manners cost nothing, and she’s right.
Probably the most important tip of all! There’s nothing more off-putting than someone turning up for a meeting when it’s obvious that they’ve spent very little time preparing. If you are attending an interview, make sure you know about the position you are applying for – what your role will be, who you will report to and so on – and learn a bit about the company too. Then, when they ask you if you know what the role involves you can confidently say ‘yes’. Most interviews and business meetings will include an opportunity for you to ask questions – use it. But, don’t ask where the which sandwich shop do the best tuna-melts! It creates a good impression if you have some thoughtful questions about the role prepared.
So, there you have it. Follow these tips and you won’t go far wrong and, as always, if you have any tips or stories you want to share do get in touch.