Preparation will help calm your anxiety and enable you to speak with more confidence and authority. If you put the work in, you will always have an advantage over your competition. Before an interview or an important meeting, learn everything you can about the company/potential client you are going to meet. Visit company websites, read the history, staff newsletters and recent press releases. Taking the time to prepare will make you appear more knowledgeable and interested – two qualities that make a great impression.
2. Find out who will be in the meeting
If you want to always be a step ahead of the game, find out who you will be meeting with. Learn their names, and you could even log into LinkedIn to see if you share and common working interests to break the ice. Addressing everyone by their name in your first meeting/interview can emanate a great amount of confidence.
3. Arrive early
It’s always important to be punctual in a professional setting. Especially so if you want to be taken seriously. Arriving on time shows that you are responsible and value others’ time.
4. Dress to impress
A professional appearance will give a good first impression – there’s no two ways about it. It’s far better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. You don’t have to spend your entire savings on a suit, just make sure you find one that fits!
5. Introduce yourself with a firm handshake
A solid handshake carries a lot of weight in many cultures. If you’re already seated, stand up to shake the person’s hand. You will be showing them respect by standing up, which is a great thing to do to boost your first impression. While shaking their hand, smile and make eye contact. Don’t leave it for too long though, otherwise it might end up in an uneasy situation…