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What People Who Give Off Great First Impressions Do Differently

What People Who Give Off Great First Impressions Do Differently

Have you ever dreamed of confidently walking into a room and becoming the magnet of attraction? Admit it, it’s a yes.

Did you know that studies have shown that we accurately predict someone’s social, economic, education, success and confidence levels in less than three seconds? What conclusions did you come to the last time you met someone new?

93% of the impression you make is based on what you look like and how you sound. Words are only responsible for 7% of the initial impression. If you want to leave a great first impression, your appearance and tone of voice need to show confidence and self-esteem. Then the message of your words can take over.

So here are some of the most important things that people who make great first impressions don’t do.

1. They don’t dart their eyes.

How do you feel when you are in the middle of a conversation and the person you are talking to looks away to check out who else is in the room? You probably feel insignificant. So don’t do this to someone else. And if you dart your eyes more than once during a conversation, it becomes repulsive.

Keep a steady gaze and give your undivided attention and empathy through eye contact, a slight tilt of the head, leaning in and nodding.

2. They don’t say stupid things.

A former colleague once asked where I went to college. I said, “Cornell,” and his immediate response was, “How did you get into that school? Who did you pay to take your SATs for you?” My jaw dropped and so did those of other co-workers who heard him. I immediately thought he was a jerk for saying such a stupid thing.

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It’s likely the fact that I went to a great school triggered a part of him that felt inferior. A few months later, when he and I spent a day together working on a project, he said, “I never knew you were so interesting and deep. I really like you. I’m so sorry for what I said.” So my negative impression of him turned positive after spending so much time with him.

You will probably not get a second chance to undo a negative first impression. So it’s important for you to bite your tongue when you want to say something dumb. Think before you speak.

3. They don’t hide their vulnerabilities.

Being vulnerable means you are confident enough to express your feelings. “I’m a little apprehensive coming to events where I don’t know anyone. But I’ve found that as soon as I introduce myself to someone I don’t know, I feel good. Hi, my name is…” Or, if after some small talk, you feel you are not at your best and something else is on your mind, admit it. “I’m usually a little more lively but I just experienced a horrible break up.”

By showing your vulnerabilities first, the other person will more than likely reciprocate with what they have experienced. You’ve just made a much deeper connection than you would have otherwise.

4. They don’t brag about themselves.

Someone who talks on and on about how great they are is a big turn off. “I just bought a Porsche…I’m the Vice President of….I have a summer home in the Hamptons…Let me show you my wine cellar…etc.” Wait until you are asked to share more about your life. And when you do share, be humble.

5. They don’t look sloppy.

Everyone judges a book by its cover. How you show up is a reflection of your self-worth. You don’t want your appearance to turn people off. Show up presentable and polished.

6. They don’t forget to say the person’s name.

There is nothing sweeter than the sound of your own name. How did you feel the last time someone said your name in the middle of sentence? Probably pretty good. Because so few people remember to say a person’s name in the middle of a conversation, if you do this, you’ll leave a better impression than most.

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7. They don’t sneak peeks at their phone.

If you’ve been the on the receiving end of someone who constantly looks at their texts and emails as you talk to them, you probably felt unimportant and you probably wanted to drop the conversation and move on. Give the gift of your undivided attention. Because so few people do this, you will positively stand out.

8. They don’t have poker face. 

Lack of expression will look like you are holding something back or that you are socially awkward. A genuine smile makes you approachable and attractive.

9. They don’t walk like a wimp.

When someone walks with their shoulders slumped and looking down, what’s your impression? “What’s their problem? They look like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.” If you have burdens that hold you back from feeling good, do something about them so you can show up confident.

10. They don’t talk like a wimp.

Speaking tentatively and softly shows lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Work with a coach or therapist to overcome your fears so you can speak fearlessly and confidently.

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    11. They don’t forget to ask about people’s families.

    Find an opening to ask questions about family. Your connection will go deeper fast.

    12. They don’t talk excessively about their kids.

    Most people are not interested in hearing everything about your kids. Pick another topic.

    13. They don’t have negative self-talk.

    Ever been guilty of thinking, “I’m a loser, I’m fat, I’m ugly, I’m not smart, I’ll never amount to anything, etc.”? The more negative self-talk you have, the lower your energetic vibration and the more likely you will turn people off.

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    Positive thoughts such as, “I’m fabulous, I’m smart, I’m attractive, I’m loving,” emit positive energy and make you attractive.

    14. They don’t churn in the past.

    Just about everyone has emotional baggage. Some have more than others. If you have made lemonade out of your lemons of your negative experiences, share your story and inspire others.

    15. They don’t hide their bodies.

    Having 10 extra pounds on you is not going to ruin your first impression. When you are proud of your body, others will be attracted to your self-love energy.

    On the other hand, if you are too out of shape, it reflects a lack of self-love. So you need to get to the bottom of why you don’t love yourself enough to treat your body right.

    16. They don’t wait for others to approach them.

    If you approach others first, they will be impressed with your confidence at making them feel at ease. Everyone is waiting for someone else to go first. Why not let that be you?

    17. They don’t talk too much.

    You have one mouth and two ears. When you let others talk through asking questions because you are genuinely curious, you will leave a great impression because you are making the other person feel important about what they have to say.

    18. They don’t monopolize the conversation.

    If you are on the receiving end of someone who is very attentive to what you have to say, just remember to reciprocate and make it a two-way conversation. Reciprocate and ask questions about them so that you can leave a great impression too.

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    19. They don’t interrupt.

    It’s rude to cut someone off in the middle of a sentence. If you’ve been on the receiving end of this you know how bad this feels. So don’t do this to someone else. Wait until they are finished before you speak.

    20. They don’t just ask small talk questions. 

    Small talk is fine when you first meet someone, but it won’t help you make a lasting bonds. When appropriate, go deeper with more powerful questions. These questions also help to make them feel validated and important.

    • What’s most exciting about what you do?
    • What would you like to be doing three years from now? What’s your mission?
    • What’s the biggest challenge you have with getting to the next level? Maybe I have someone in my network I can introduce you to help you get there.

    21. They don’t hold back compliments.

    The #1 most important human need is to be validated and appreciated. Give sincere compliments freely. “I love your dress.” “I love your tie.” “I admire the passion you have for raising money for the Cancer Society.”

    22. They don’t hesitate to touch.

    Touching appropriately mean a soft touch to the elbow, back or shoulder. When the moment is right, take advantage of the this sincere gesture, you will be instantly seen as more attractive and likable.

    23. They don’t hesitate to help others.

    Help solve other’s problems first. Maybe it’s a tip, maybe it’s an introduction to someone in your network. In return, the Universe will eventually show you the help you need to take your life to the next level.

    24. They don’t forget to follow up within 24 hours.

    How did you feel when an acquaintance followed through with something? You were probably pleasantly surprised because very few people follow through with promises. Follow up right away to leave a lasting great impression.

    Bottom line:

    You only have three seconds to make a great first impression. If you want to be the magnet of attraction, not only do you need to have confidence and self-esteem, you also need to show verbally and nonverbally that you are genuinely happy to get to know them. The more you make the other person feel comfortable, heard and seen, the more you will be instantly liked and leave a great and lasting impression. Conversely, if you are too self-absorbed, people will avoid you like the plague when you walk into a room.

     

    Resources to further your learning:
    Basic techniques of winning others over: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    Advanced techniques of winning others over: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

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    Last Updated on March 14, 2019

    7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

    7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

    Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

    For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

    Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

    1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

    A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

    It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

    It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

    How it helps you:

    If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

    Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

    2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

    Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

    Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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    How it helps you:

    Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

    Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

    If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

    Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

    3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

    Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

    Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

    How it helps you:

    This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

    For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

    Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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    A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

    4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

    To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

    A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

    How it helps you:

    One word: hierarchy.

    All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

    In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

    If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

    5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

    Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

    Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

    How it helps you:

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    Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

    If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

    This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

    6. What do you like about working here?

    This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

    Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

    How it helps you:

    You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

    Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

    Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

    7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

    What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

    As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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    How it helps you:

    What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

    First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

    Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

    Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

    Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

    Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

    Making Your Interview Work for You

    Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

    Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

    More Resources About Job Interviews

    Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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