How to Make a Great First Impression by Rebecca Knight In the HBR
The saying “You only have one chance to make a first impression” holds true in many situations, from job interviews to sales calls. How can you make sure that you start off on the right foot in any of these scenarios? What should you actually say? And what’s the best way to follow up?
What the Experts Say
First impressions matter so much because they happen fast, and they are stubborn, says Whitney Johnson, the author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work. “We make judgments [about other people] in a nanosecond.” And once that impression is formed, it’s “very, very hard to change it.” Simply put, your relationships and interactions will be a lot easier if you’re able to immediately start off strong. “You get the benefit of the doubt,” says Dorie Clark, the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future. “So then if you ever say the wrong thing, make a mistake, or arrive at work late, the other person is more likely to assume the best.” A strong first impression, she says, “gives you more latitude to be human.” Here are some strategies to help ensure others see the best in you from the beginning. ... "