How to Make the Best First Impressions

How to Make the Best First Impressions 1

Hey, mom.

Yeah, I’m pretty nervous for this interview.

I spent all weekend knowing my contacts, I’m ready to crush an interview.

No, I don’t know who I’m interviewing with.

I just know her name is Tammie, she’s a part of the firm but don’t know much else.

Sorry, I gotta run and walk into the waiting room now.

>> Hi, Brett.

>> Hey Tammie.

How’s it going?

>> Good. How are you doing?

>> I’m doing good.

It’s a beautiful day in Palo Alto.

It’s weather always this nice November?

>> Yes, it is.

It is your first time here.

>> Yeah, yeah, I’m from the Midwest, and it’s snowing already there.

>> Got it, well, welcome here.

So, I’m looking at your resume- >> Guys,

How many of you think this is going well so far, show of hands?

How many of you think it’s too early to tell?

>> [LAUGH] >> Let’s see what our participants think.

Brad, how do you think it’s been so far?

>> What’s you guys said?

I feel think things are going well.

I complimented the weather, talked about the city, and

I’m ready to crush this entity.

>> Interesting, Tammie, what’s your opinion?

>> I’ve had ten interviews today; I don’t feel a special connection with this guy.

He doesn’t stand out.

>> Wow.

Did you just see it.

>> [LAUGH] >> Did you just see how in the first ten seconds itself, there are such different opinions of how it’s gone among the two people.

First impressions in an interview are critical. Well, they say don’t judge a book by its cover, that’s what we do most of the time.

Following are tips for how to make best first impression

First Impressions

First impressions are usually found within the first 17 seconds of meeting someone, and then they’re only reinforced to a time with high correlation. Research from Amy Cuddy shows that 80% of your first impression is based on two traits.

Strength, how capable and competent is this person? And want, do I trust them?

>> The thing is, it actually starts before it starts.

Your preparation can keep you up for success for the rest of the interview. Ultimately, it can also put you on your back foot so that you are always kind of struggling to catch up.

So, let’s look at a couple things we can do to enforce good habit building to set you up for your best success.

Online Presence

First, let’s check our online presence.

Brett, if you wouldn’t mind.

>> Thank you.

>> When was it you thought you first saw Tammie and she first sight you?

>> When Tammy walked down the steps, open the imaginary door, and saw me sitting.

>> [LAUGH] >> I think that maybe true. But more likely probably is that she did her research and she saw this. This is a beautiful picture of you, I think.

Production Value

It’s a good-looking guy. Nothing we can do to improve upon this but please, let’s think a little bit about the production value that we’re putting into this.

The lighting is a little bit off.

You can’t necessarily do any better than this when it comes to light smile, but there is more you can do for high resolution camera.

Let’s see we can do, let’s put you into the breath you can be.

>> [APPLAUSE] >> You’re looking good.

>> Thank you for that.

All right, now the thing you might want to think about is dressing appropriately.


I was hoping you’d like to kind of walk me through some of your thinking when you got dressed.

>> I know that Tammie is for almost business casual, so I thought it could be good to match business casual and be a part of the team.

>> I can see that, anyone?

Yeah, all right.

I might suggest one other thing.

May be consider that, if they’re going to be business casual, let’s dress you up just a little bit.

One step above, how do you feel?

>> I feel a lot more confident right there.

>> Yeah, I like to hide behind the blazer too.

>> [LAUGH] >> And the next thing you remember,

Using Your Phone

you’re already on stage from the second that you come in.

Can I borrow your phone for one moment. I like this, I’m going to give this back to you.

As soon as you are done with the interview, you can use this to call Uber when you’re done. When they see you using the phone, it looks like you’re not there, you’re not ready.

Let’s set you up for the best success.

You are here, you are present here, okay?

So, think about all these things before you go in.

Remember that there’s going to be some habit building that happens and we want to make sure that you’re set up for your best success because it starts before it starts.

>> And now that’s prepare you for what is like in the waiting room, Brett, would you please act like what you did before? I have three quick tips for you to help you to differentiate yourself professionally in the waiting room.

Stand Up

First, try to plan to stand up.

Standing up, based on author Peggy Wallace, gives you more power and confidence.

Standing up gives you more energy because it’s so much better than if you would have slouch in the couch. We are nervous in an interview; your default will be to take refuge in sinking in that comfortable couch in the waiting room. Instead of sitting there, you can look out the view out of the window, read about the art on the wall or read about a magazine while you’re standing.

Standing up has one other benefit, when someone you meet comes in, standing up gives you a more fluid transition into greeting them because you stand out as their equal rather than from below them from a sitting position.

Small Conversations

The second tip we have for you is to make small conversations.

They can be with people in the receptionist, or they can be other candidates in the room. This helps you stretch out your vocal cords so you can deliver a more clear and resonant voice. And hopefully, the admins will see that you are a friendly person and you’re a better fit for the company’s culture, convert them into your allies.

Meet Greet

The third tip we have for you is to master the meet and greet.

You won’t be able to immediately have this high energy as soon as you see someone in that first millisecond. Therefore, prepare the mentality for solid first impression. Think about what you want to do to be confident, to show enthusiasm and show that you are polished.

Greet them with an open gesture, a firm handshake, and a direct eye contact.

Let’s practise this.

>> Hey Tammie.

>> Much better, isn’t it?

So, as you can see, there are three quick tips for you to prepare in the waiting room.

As we said, it really starts before it starts.

>> Now let’s talk about preparing Brett for the interview room.

Brett, come on in, have a seat.

>> I have three tips for you.

Have Engaging Conversation

First, have engaging conversation for your interviewer and prepare for that.

Do your homework beforehand.

Look up what they work on, where they went to school or college, what their hobbies are. See if you have any commonalities with them or shared experiences, talk about those to build connections.


Second, let’s talk about posture.

Brett, when you sit with your leg up against your knee, and slouching back, you convey a casual attitude and a bit of arrogance.

Let’s fix that.

Why don’t you sit straight and try to project confidence.

It’s important to maintain eye contact with your interviewer so that it builds trust.

When you look away from your interviewer and talk, they might think you are not being genuine.

Third, it is important to mirror the energy in the room. Practice this beforehand.

If your interviewer is low energy or tired, don’t be too peppy, if your interview is high energy, try to match their level.

You want the interviewer to be comfortable with your energy level and not be awkward. So, to summarize three tips, do your homework on content, have engaging conversations, have a confident body posture and mirror the energy level in the room.

Remember, it starts before it starts. Now let’s see if Brett has learned through this process.

>> Wow, I walk into the waiting room, I don’t have my phone out.

I’m so prepared.

>> [LAUGH] >> Hi Brett.

>> Hey Tammie, I’m so excited to be interviewing with you today.

>> Well, welcome here.

>> I noticed by looking at your LinkedIn that we have a common connection.

How do you know RJ Miller?

>> My God, we went to GSP together.

>> [LAUGH] >> He’s, my neighbour.

Do you have any good stories about him at the time at the GSP?

>> Totally, totally and let’s talk about it.

>> Okay.

Wasn’t that so much better?

Let’s ask our participants how that felt.

Tammie, how did that land on you?

>> I’ve had ten interview yesterday; I won’t forget which one Brett is.

>> Brett, how did that feel?

>> I felt that went a lot better.

I came in focused, I wasn’t distracted on my cell phone, and we made a common connection.

I got my nerves down and ready to go with it.

>> So, I know as we go through this, most of you think these are just to replace.

Sadly, month and a half ago that first role play you saw, that was me, minus the whole LinkedIn photo.

>> [LAUGH] >> I walked into the interview wearing this, but all the other candidates had ties on. I thought I wanted to match the people I was interviewing with.

I did talk about the weather, because I spent all my time researching and preparing for my content, my interview. All the other candidates, they had these crazy connections with their interviewers, and they did their homework. I walked into that interview room; I was nervous. I did put my leg up, it hid my nerves, I thought it portrayed confidence.

But when I got the feedback after the interview, they told me that I crushed interviews. I was the most qualified candidate for the job.

But I didn’t get the job because they felt I didn’t take it seriously. That really hurt me because I really focused on this interview. But like mentioned, the first 17 seconds are super important. And I think that would set me behind on the back foot.

Fortunately, this story is happy ending because I learned from this mistake, didn’t make this error twice, got a job that was better for me two weeks later, downside.

And- >> [APPLAUSE]

>> Thank you, and our hope for you going forward when you go into that interview, do focus on dressing up, do focus on doing your research on your interviewer, practice that posture before you walk in. Because when you walk in, if you do that, you’re going to start from the right foot when you go into that content. And I learned the hard way that it truly does start before.

Thank you. >> I want to thank you very much for sharing personal failure little mistakes. And with that, we’d love to open up to some questions.

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