How to Make a Great First Impression

March 20 2020 , 0 Comments

Shaking hands

You may think that first impressions are overrated, but they are not something to be taken lightly. Have you heard the saying “you never get a second chance to make a great first impression”? Well, it’s true! It takes just a quick glance for someone to evaluate you and form an opinion from your appearance, body language and mannerisms. Any new encounter sees opinions form within such little time. The following tips all apply to your first day at work or in a new team, or even in any situation such as networking, as there are a few universal tricks to stick to!


Plan your Commute

The time that you arrive is one of the main practises to make an impressive first impression. If you are arriving at a meeting or it is your first day at work, then you will be expected to turn up on time, even early doesn’t hurt. You want to avoid walking through the door 30 minutes late with all heads turned… However, if you do arrive early, try to be only 5-10 minutes early as you don’t want to find that the hosts are not expecting you so soon.

With this being said, make sure to plan for traffic or delays in your journey. Being late is extra stress and embarrassment of poor time management, which is definitely best to avoid!

One final tip about planning your journey is to fit in some time to eat something! Nerves may not make you feel hungry, but you always feel better after eating a little something. Plus, you don’t want your stomach to be rumbling all day and thinking when your lunch break is.

What to wear?

We can deny it, but of course, physical appearance matters. You have to take into account a number of things, not just what you wear but also how you wear them. Make sure you know how to tie a tie (ask your friends and family for help) and that your shirt is buttoned up correctly. These little things may seem small but can make a big difference.

Present yourself appropriately, so think about the appropriate dress code for the meeting or occasion. First day struggles of what to wear can seem daunting, but if you have an interview in an office, think about what others wore. Is the business environment a warehouse? Or maybe you need to find smarter wear for a Law office?

Be Yourself!

It may be hard to not try to become the perfect human, however, don’t try to make yourself fit in by pretending to be someone you are not. Just be yourself, as doing this will ensure that you build trust while also feel more at home with the people that you meet while knowing that you do fit in with the company.

You don’t need to change, you are perfect just the way you are!



A smile can really go a long way. It will put you and the other person at ease as you come across friendly and open. With that being said, don’t go over the top, as you might come across a bit too eager if you’re constantly grinning showing your teeth.

Alongside this comes positivity! Studies show that if you’re feeling nervous or just a bit down, smiling can boost your emotions and how you’re feeling! So try to go into everything with a nice and warming smile.

Body Language

When you are meeting someone for the first time, body language can tell a lot about yourself - more ways than you probably think!

Make eye contact, this is not a time to avoid it as it shows focus and determination! While also greeting with a firm handshake, shows off your confidence. Try to avoid nervous habits such as nail-biting and talking far too quickly. Of course, this is easier said than done, but there are plenty of tips to ease your mind before to help with this. Once you get there and are settled, your nerves will become eased in no time!

Be Chatty!

Of course, no one likes awkward silence, so use small talk but also have some questions ready. If you are going for an interview on your first day, then think of some work-related and also personal questions. It is advised not to ask their parents' names (unless you are reading this for a first date!), but try to find out a bit more about them such as what are their hobbies outside of work? If you find a common interest, then this is bound to create a connection and keep the conversation going.

Speaking clearly and slowly really does help you get your points across and avoid miscommunication, which is key when you don’t know the speech styles of your new acquaintances. Also, ensure that you introduce yourself to anyone you meet. Your mind can be a muddle when meeting so many new people, but try to listen when people are talking to you, and remember their names!

So, to sum up, be on your best behaviour! Whether you are meeting your new colleagues or people for a one-off meeting, you want to come across as an open and polite individual. After all, good impressions do last! Still feeling the nerves? Check out a few things to avoid doing on your first day!

Written by Rebecca Hart, an Online Marketer at StudentJob UK. If you are starting your job search but not sure where to start, then check out StudentJob. Our application tips will help you create an effective CV, cover letter and help you smash interviews!

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