15 Mar 4 Ways to Make a Good First Impression When You’re Networking
Picture this: you walk into an interview to see your interviewer sitting slouched down on a chair with a grumpy expression. He doesn’t make eye contact when you greet him, and only mumbles a greeting in response to yours. On top of all that, he smells weird and his shirt is wrinkled.
Before you even sit down, you will have already made assumptions about the interviewer, the company, as well as the work culture that will follow, should you choose to work in this place. And chances are it’s not going to be a very positive one.
That is the power of first impressions.
Now interviews are one thing, but networking is a different ballgame altogether. While interviewers may be looking to gauge your professional capacities more, networking interactions are more about establishing personal connections in relation to your profession.
So while the classic suggestions of making eye contact, smiling, and having good posture still hold true, there are certain nuances everyone has to pay attention to. Here, we’ve listed 5 things that you should keep in mind to make your networking technique stronger.
1. Be Genuine
Don’t push yourself on the other person – figuratively speaking of course. This means, show people you are interested in genuinely connecting with them, not just in what they have to offer you. This will make you seem like a more approachable, likeable person as opposed to someone who is self centered and selfish.
2. Ask Questions
Don’t walk into networking situations or events blankly. Google the people who will be attending, so you have an overview of who they are and what they do. Not only will you be less intimated by them, you will also be able show genuine interest in them by asking relevant questions which will show them that you are interested in getting to know them.
3. Go Beyond Facts
When talking about yourself, don’t just state facts. Give the other person some insight into why you choose to do the things you do. Tell them why you enjoy your work or why you dislike certain trends or ways of doing things. The ‘why’ instead of the ‘what’ will allow them to understand you better, increasing the chances of them remembering you later on.
4. Take it Easy
This is a not a game or a race. You’re not aiming to win. You’re aiming to enjoy an interaction and make it meaningful enough that it’s worth revisiting in the future for both of you. Focus on that instead of stressing over an end goal and we promise you’ll be better off.
Networking can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. But if you go in with a relaxed outlook and focus on being positive, genuine, and welcoming – we promise you’ll nail your first impression easily.