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8 tips to make a good first impression

June 04, 2014 11:51 IST

Image: The way you greet and meet the interviewer lays the pitch for the rest of the interview.
Photographs: Rediff Archives Courtesy

It doesn't take more than 10 seconds for the interviewer to judge whether you're confident or not.

Here are some tips to help you master a few important non-verbal cues and leave a lasting first impression.

There is a famous quote 'With confidence, you have won even before you have started.'

A self-assured body language speaks volumes about your confidence level.

Non-verbal communication paradoxically communicates more than your words do and creates an instantaneous impression about you.

Here are some tips that'll make the task easier for you:

1. Always greet the interviewer

Make it a practice to greet people when you meet them so that you are able to naturally and effortlessly greet the visa officer at the very outset.

A warm and cheerful smile not only breaks the ice but sets the tone for a pleasant interaction.


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2. Appropriate hand gestures

Image: Do not cross your arms while speaking or listening to someone.
Photographs: Rediff Archives

Sitting with your arms folded diagonally gives an impression that you are standoffish and detached. 

You want to come across as a warm, confident, friendly and pleasant person whereas crossing your arms can make you look unsure and defensive.

Just take a deep breath and try to appear as calm and composed as you can.

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3. Make eye contact:

Image: Look at the interviewer while speaking to him.
Photographs: Reuters

Making a direct eye contact with the interviewer always works in your favour as you establish yourself as an honest and courteous individual.

Making eye contact, however, should not be confused with staring, as it may look rude.

Try to maintain a balance by shifting your gaze from eye to the forehead occasionally.

Always abstain from looking down on the floor as this is indicative of your low self-esteem.

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4. Always be mindful of your lip movements

Image: Avoid twitching your lips while speaking.
Photographs: Reuters

Twitching your lips or unnecessarily meandering them can make you look deceptive and communicates your displeasure with what's happening around.

This may not go down well with the interviewer.

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5. Don't be a bundle of nerves

Image: Do not fidget or play with your feet and hands.
Photographs: Reuters

No matter how anxious you are, be smart to cloak your edginess.

Fidgeting with hand and hasty leg movements reflect your nervousness and impatience and can distract the interviewer.

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6. The right posture

Image: Your posture should exude confidence.
Photographs: Joshua Lott/Reuters

Standing straight, leaning a little forward and keeping one's hand out in open demonstrates confidence and projects one as a trustworthy person whereas slouching or leaning backwards indicates one is conceited and laid back.

Body language is an integral part of your personality and has tremendous impact on one’s mind to form an impression about you.

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7. Be alert and responsive

Image: Engage the interviewer in the conversation.
Photographs: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Appear interested by keeping an attentive look.

Actively engage in conversation with appropriate verbal nods and affirmative gestures.

This will go a long way in making you look well informed and receptive.

Try to answer quickly and let there be no dead air between the interviewer's question and your answer.

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8. Right grooming

Image: Make sure you look presentable enough at the interview.
Photographs: Anicaps Le Forum/Creative Commons

You can use your well turned-out appearance to your advantage by making the first impression that lasts on your interviewer.

A well-groomed look fills you with untold confidence and your body language too gets positively impacted.

Make sure you are dressed up for the occasion -- if necessary, get a hair cut and refrain from going overboard in applying perfumes or colognes.

You have too much at stake to appear casual or nervous during your interview.

Interviewers expect you to come across as self-assured, well-bred and well-mannered individual and the right body language can save you from getting into hot waters.

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