It takes about three seconds for someone else to evaluate you and form an opinion about you. No matter what context you’re meeting someone new in, career or social, it’s important to try to make a good first impression. First impressions can be difficult to undo and may set the mood for the remainder of your relationship. Show up on time, dress appropriately, employ a strong handshake, maintain eye contact, stand upright, smile, and relax. Engage the other person in conversation (do you have anything in common?) and be courteous and attentive. Try your best to remember the new person’s name; repeat the name in your head several times or use a pneumonic device to help you. Most importantly, be yourself. While having someone new evaluate you positively is great, you may not be able to convince everyone, no matter how hard you try. You can simply give it your best and act naturally.
A good first impression can help you to network effectively, advance your career, or make new friends. You never know when you might need that person’s assistance, advice, or recommendation!