How do you make a great first impression that will last?

2 ways to give a great first impression in an interview

It's pretty well known by now how first impressions can make or break you. Find out two key strategies that will help improve how you first present yourself in an interview.

1. It actually is important to work on your handshake

Although we all grow tired of hearing our parents talk about working on our handshakes, it turns out there may be some truth in this common advice.

Learn about how you can give a handshake that people will respond well to. Learn about how you can give a handshake that people will respond well to.

A study by William Chaplin, Jeffrey Phillips, and colleagues, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, concluded that how you shake hands with someone can change their first impression of you and actually reflect your personality type.

However, it's more than a "firm handshake." The following characteristics of a handshake were assessed in this study:

  • The fullness of a grip
  • Strength
  • Duration
  • Vigour
  • Eye contact
  • Temperature
  • Dryness
  • Texture

It was discovered that those who rated well on these factors were more likely to label themselves as positive and outgoing. These are two characteristics often looked for in an employee, so it could be worth your time to practise your handshake as a way to effectively promote yourself!

2. What is the best way to look engaged?

Engaged body language is another powerful tool to get people to warm to you.

Vivian Zayas, a professor of psychology at Cornell University, was quoted by EurkeAlert! as saying: "They're smiling a little bit more, they're leaning forward a little bit more. Their nonverbal cues are warmer. When someone is warmer, when someone is more engaged, people pick up on this."

Make it a goal to look more engaged and friendly in your body language.Make it a goal to look more engaged and friendly in your body language.

The Young Entrepreneurs Council offers their advice in Forbes on the best way to make this engaged body language look authentic: Actually get interested in what the other person is saying. A natural curiosity about other people is always well received.

However, if your interview nerves are getting the best of you and distracting you from being interested, try breathing through your mouth, Carol Kinsey Goman, a prominent author on the topic of body language in business wrote in Forbes.

Gorman has also discovered that widening your stance can help. A broad stance apparently puts your nervous system at ease and enables you to breathe and amplify your voice better.

How Implement Online can help

To learn more about giving off a first impression the moment you walk into an interview, look into Implement Online's Interview and Skills Practice class. It will make all the difference to learn these key strategies to feel confident in an interview and then put them to practise.