100 Ways to Make a Good Impression

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firstimpressionThere’s no denying how crucial first impressions are; after all, your entire perception of someone is shaped on that very first interaction. Because of this, it’s crucial that your first impression is a good one. Princeton researchers Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov performed a series of experiments on first impressions, and ultimately determined that people will form an opinion of you in a tenth of a second, leaving you a very short window frame to make that first interaction a positive experience. To help ensure that your next first impression is a good one, we’ve compiled a list of 100 different sites that will help others see you in the most favorable light possible.

During an Interview

While you’re undoubtedly battling a serious case of nerves during an interview, it’s imperative that you find a way to come across confident and collected. Putting your best foot forward is essential in this situation. To do so, remember to make eye contact, smile, give a firm handshake upon meeting your interviewer, maintain good posture throughout the meeting and speak clearly and concisely. For more tips on making a positive first impression in an interview, read the following 10 blog posts.

  • Give a firm handshake. Weak handshakes can signify insecurity, according to Under Cover Recruiter, so make sure that your handshake is firm and confident.
  • Avoid saying ‘um’ to fill time before answering. Interviewers know that they are asking tough questions, but you shouldn’t let them see you get nervous, says Mashable.
  • Sit or stand up straight. Wikihow explains that sitting up straight portrays confidence to a potential employer, while slouching gives off a negative impression.
  • Make eye contact. When you first meet the interviewer you need to shake hands and make eye contact. Bite Size Bio recommends making frequent eye contact without staring.
  • Research the company. According to Employment Guide, the last thing you want to do is say something that gives away the fact that you didn’t take the time to find out anything about the company prior to interviewing.
  • Be excited. To leave the interviewer with a positive impression, show that you are interested and enthusiastic about the job opportunity, recommends The Guardian.
  • Keep your answers concise. Time is money to an interviewer, and answering questions in a complete, concise manner shows that you know your stuff, advises Simply Hired.
  • Mirror the speed that the interview speaks. According to Money from US News, it is important that you do not speak too quickly or too slowly during an interview.
  • Be honest. Career Advice Monster stresses the importance of honesty during an interview. If you don’t have a certain skill, be up front about it.
  • Show confidence. No matter how you thought the interview went, after the interview act like you got the job. Keep your head up and don’t discuss the interview until you are alone. You never know who might be watching or listening warns CBS News.


Your appearance is crucial when meeting someone for the first time. Before you even open your mouth people are assessing you based on your appearance. Do you look like the kind of person that would be good for this job or that someone would want to work with? If you don’t know the answer to that question, ask someone who will be completely honest with you. Take their advice and work with it until you present the strong and confident person that you are on the inside.

  • Hands should be clean and nails nicely trimmed. Since one of the first things you typically do when you initially meet someone is shake hands, you want your hands to look presentable, explains Careerealism.
  • Dress the part. Brian Tracy points out that clothing is 95% of a first impression because it covers about that much of your body, so dress appropriately.
  • Present a polished appearance. Make sure that your clothes are pressed and free from stains, suggests Your Office Coach.
  • Don’t dress too flamboyantly. You can show your personality a little in what you wear, but you also want to dress conservatively and in a way that meshes with the company, explains J Anderson 99.
  • Make sure your clothes are appropriate. Business Queensland suggests taking care to pick out an outfit that is appropriate for the occasion.
  • Dress for the position you want. Mercury News advises dressing for the position you want, not for the position you’re in, to make the best impression.
  • Avoid wild hair colors. Wild hair color makes a statement about you that affects your first impression. Everyday Life suggests steering clear of unnatural colors when meeting professionals.
  • Skip heavy perfumes or after shave. Sometimes odors can be distracting during a meeting, says Business Insider, and sometimes they can trigger allergies. Like with clothes, you should err on the conservative side when it comes to fragrances.
  • Overdressed is better than underdressed. According to Lifehacker, you should dress up for events if you are unsure of how others will dress.
  • Avoid wearing too much make-up. Wearing a little bit of make-up is fine, but avoid overdoing it, advises Voices.

Body Language

Your body language has the ability to tell strangers a lot about you. Slouching can convey that you are lazy or insecure, fidgeting shows that you are nervous and unsure of yourself, and folding your arms across your body can tell others that you are closed off. To help emit confidence, practice your sales pitch or your small talk with someone you trust and be sure to prepare ahead of time. For more tips on body language, read these 10 articles.

  • Smile and be cheerful. Scowling or frowning can give people the impression that you are not approachable and therefore not likeable, advises Internships.
  • Show your palms a lot during an interview. According to Center for Body Language, showing your palms subconsciously tells the person you’re speaking with that you are open and receptive to what they are saying.
  • Have an open body position. Improve Your Social Skills suggests standing or sitting in a position that lines up your heart to the other person’s heart so that you are facing each other without obstruction.
  • Don’t fidget. When you are sitting in a chair your hands should be resting in your lap or on the table in front of you, advises Computer Futures.
  • Avoid crossing your legs at the knee. To show open body language leave your feet flat on the floor or cross your legs at the ankle, says Real Buzz.
  • Nod occasionally during the conversation. Work Awesome explains that nodding occasionally during conversation lets the other person know you are listening.
  • Try not to stand with your hands on your hips. This position tells people that you feel superior or don’t approve of what is being a said, indicates Biz Journals.
  • Turn toward the person you are talking to. Let the person know that you are tuned into what they are saying by turning toward them during the conversation, says Positivity Blog.
  • Skip wearing bracelets that jangle. Catalyst explains that noisy jewelry is distracting.
  • Move briskly to show confidence. According to Inkling, walking slowly or shuffling can make you appear weak or unsure.


How you greet a person can send a positive or negative message. You can look like a million bucks, but if you sound meek and unsure when you greet someone, you are not going to give them a very good impression. Smile genuinely, make eye contact with the person you are meeting and exchange a nice greeting to portray confidence and openness. When giving your name, speak clearly and slowly enough that it can be understood by the person you are meeting. This is especially helpful if your name is hard to pronounce. These 10 sites will provide more tips about proper greetings.

  • Research who you will be meeting. Psych Central points out that greetings vary by culture, so you need to understand what the most appropriate greeting is for the person you will be meeting.
  • Include pertinent information in a phone greeting. According to For Construction Pros, you are the first impression that a customer has of the company when you answer the phone, so your greeting must include gratitude for calling, the company name, your name and some offer to help the caller.
  • Make your greeting warm. Jobs says that how you say a greeting is almost more important than what you say.
  • Stay focused. While there are a lot of distractions that can pull your attention away from the person you are greeting, it’s important to keep your focus on them, advises Quick and Dirty Tips.
  • Use a polite greeting in addition to your name. When shaking hands or just following the hand shake, be sure to say, “It’s nice meeting you” or “Thank you for having me” recommends Business Productivity.
  • Be friendly and show confidence. Real Men Real Style explains that people will judge you on your greeting, so you need to smile and make eye contact while shaking hands to convey the right message.
  • Don’t speak with food or gum in your mouth. If you are answering the phone or going to an interview, it’s unprofessional to speak with something in your mouth, points out LJL Seminars.
  • Have a friendly tone to your voice. People are able to tell when you are smiling simply by the tone of your voice, explains National Oil and Lube News.
  • You represent the company. If you are greeting people in a business setting, how you greet them will not only be their first impression of you, but of the company you work for as well, says Customer Service Boot Camp.
  • Always give your name with a greeting for a new person. When you walk into an office for an interview or an appointment it’s important to say hello and give your name. According to Little Things Matter, it may also be a good idea to hand over your business card at the same time.

Business Etiquette

A first impression can be made in many different ways, whether it’s an in person interaction, through snail mail, an e-mail or a phone call. Because of this, there are guidelines you can follow to help ensure that your first contact with someone is a good one, no matter how it’s done. Other things, such as manners and etiquette, tell people about you as well. These 10 sites discuss what you should and should not do when it comes to business etiquette in order to make a good impression.

  • Choose a quality linen paper for your resume and cover letter. Your resume is often your first contact with an employer, so you want it to convey professionalism, says Black Collegian.
  • Spend as much time listening as you do talking. Business Chronicle suggests that you avoid dominating the conversation to give the best impression.
  • Turn off your phone. Whether you are meeting over a meal or in an office, it is imperative that you shut off your phone, explains Open Forum.
  • Make a positive first impression with e-mail. If you are sending an e-mail to a business person, you need to make sure that you take care in your writing to look intelligent, careful and detail oriented, says Net Manners.
  • When ordering food try to order something in a similar price range as your host. If you are interviewing over a meal, JWU says you shouldn’t order the most expensive thing on the menu.
  • Say your name clearly and slowly. Emily Post points out that you want to state your name clearly when meeting someone for the first time so that your name is understood and so you don’t seem nervous.
  • Be sure you have enough copies of your resume. Bring more than one copy of your resume along in case there is more than one person in the interview, recommends ASI.
  • Proofread your e-mails and use proper English. Use complete sentences and always check for spelling and grammar errors before sending an email, suggests Bennington.
  • During a lunch or dinner meeting wait until everyone has their food to eat. Proper etiquette dictates that you don’t start eating your food until everyone has their food, indicates eHow.
  • Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ often. It’s important to mind your manners everywhere you go, especially when you are trying to make a good first impression, explains Money Crashers.

Use a Person’s Name

Have you ever had someone call you by name, only to realize you have no idea what their name is? It’s embarrassing, but you can often cover by greeting them without using their name. However, being able to recall and use someone’s name leaves a good impression with them. The tips in these 10 posts can help you go from the person who is ‘terrible with names’ to the person that knows everyone by name.

  • Repeat the name of the person you are meeting. When you first learn someone’s name, respond to the introduction by using their name, says 501 Connect.
  • Learn people’s names. Using a person’s name three times during your initial meeting with them makes you more likely to remember it, notes Career Education.
  • Use tricks to remember names. According to AOL jobs, people appreciate when you’ve made the effort to remember their name. To help remember someone’s name, try to associate a specific feature with that person, such as ‘Shy Shirley’.
  • When in doubt use a person’s name in association with the event you’re attending. For example, say, “Is this your first time at conference, Karen?” Pop Forms explains that this helps reinforce someone’s name in your memory.
  • Know how to pronounce the person’s name before you meet with him. Check with Human Resources or LinkedIn to learn a name before you go to your meeting, suggests Wise Bread.
  • Meet the people near you at a big conference. Even when you are at a big conference you never know who you may meet that might be beneficial to network with, so it’s important to get the names of the people near you, explains Blogging 4 Jobs.
  • Play name games. If you are meeting a large group of people in a class and want to remember everyone’s name, try to make it a game to remember them, suggests 4 Faculty.
  • Avoid overusing names. While using a name a couple times during the conversation is a good way to remember the name, be careful not to wear it out, cautions Reader’s Digest.
  • Exaggerate the syllables of a person’s name in your head. Think Simple Now suggests trying this unique technique to remember people’s names.
  • Break the name down into smaller words and associate the pieces with images. Build Your Memory advises breaking a name down into smaller words and linking those words with a picture.

Learn the Skill of Small Talk

Small talk can sometimes get a bad rap as being useless filler conversation, however being able to find common ground to talk about can actually open up a conversation that leads into a deeper discussion. Your goal should be to make a connection with people so that you leave them with a good impression of you. This is especially important when you are networking in a room full of people. If you stand off to the side and sip your drink, you are not accomplishing your goal. Instead, get in there and mingle. Introduce yourself with your full name and make a connection. Learn how to make a connection through small talk by reading these 10 articles.

  • Prepare a few things ahead of time. Whether you are heading into an interview or an after work party, think about a few subjects you can talk about ahead of time, suggests OU.
  • Focus on the other person. While small talk is about give and take, you should always try to turn the topic to something the other person is interested in, says Entrepreneur.
  • Build rapport. Small talk may not seem important, but it can open the conversation and help you build a rapport with the person you’re talking to that ultimately leaves them with a good impression of you, advises One Card Me.
  • Make the other person feel good. Debra Fine points out that making a good impression is about leaving the other person feeling good so that they associate good feelings with you.
  • Avoid too much giggling. To make a good impression you want to come across as pleasant, but too much giggling during small talk can make you appear nervous or flirty, warns ACPE.
  • Small talk can break the ice. Meeting new people can be nerve wracking, and engaging in some small talk can help you ease into a deeper conversation, according to Inspiyr.
  • Think of small talk like a tennis match. Once you say something wait for the other person to say something back so that the conversation doesn’t end up awkward and one-sided, says Dummies.
  • Avoid touchy topics like religion, politics or money. Clarke Agency explains the importance of staying away from controversial topics when you first meet someone.
  • Give your full attention to each person. According to Inc, you can make a lasting impression on people by being completely present when you are speaking with them.
  • Try to avoid awkward silences. Romainiacs explains that sitting or standing in silence is rude, so be the one to start the conversation and make the other person feel as though you’re interested and listening to what they have to say.

Be Respectful

Respect can mean a lot of different things. Speaking to everyone from the parking attendant to the receptionist in a pleasant manner conveys respect, as does being aware and courteous of people’s time. You should also always use good manners when interacting with others. These and other things can go a long way in making a good impression, as explained in these 10 sites.

  • Be on time. Being on time for your meeting conveys that you respect other’s people’s time, says Mind Tools.
  • It’s important to be courteous to the receptionist. According to Mac List, your first opportunity to make a good impression is with the receptionist, so make it a good one.
  • Show respect by helping others. This is especially true if you are visiting a foreign country on business, explains Seoulistic.
  • Stand up when greeting people. Linked In indicates that greeting someone from a seated position is disrespectful and should be avoided.
  • Be enthusiastic about the job or topic. Whether you are interviewing or attending a meeting, show sincere enthusiasm to the person you are with, says Professional Resumes.
  • Treat people with respect. People will remember you if you treat them with respect, shares Hyken, and will have a lasting impression of you.
  • Listening shows respect. SG Jobs DB points out that you are more likely to leave a good first impression with someone if you can show that you are an above average listener.
  • Use a person’s title and last name. Using someone’s first name before being invited to do so can show disrespect and leave a negative impression, according to Maricopa.
  • Be grateful. If someone is training you or showing you something, he is taking time out of his busy day to do so. H Careers stresses the importance of saying ‘thank you’ to make a good impression on your co-workers.
  • Dress well. Dressing in an appropriate manner for the job or the occasion is a sign of respect that shows that you are taking the opportunity seriously, shares Great College Advice.

Be Yourself

Sometimes being yourself is easier said than done, so it’s important to possess a certain level of confidence in your abilities. Tell yourself that you have what it takes, then relax and let those qualities shine through. People will notice if you are tense and on edge, and one of the worst things you can do is seem so uncomfortable that you make the other person uncomfortable too. To avoid these problems and learn how to be you, read these 10 posts.

  • Relax. It can be hard to relax in high stress situations, but finding ways to do so can help you stay true to yourself, explains Kevin Eikenberry.
  • Don’t try too hard. Be yourself and not someone you think you’re supposed to be. This will help you come across as more genuine and make a better impression, says Adobe Life.
  • The impression you make relies on your self-evaluation. Peer Review by My Neurons explains that the closer your perceived personality is to your actual personality the better the impression you’ll make on others.
  • Make sure your resume is accurate. You are better able to be yourself at an interview if you have been honest in your resume, says Work Alpha.
  • There is more than one way to succeed. It’s not necessary to be something you are not in order to land a big account or get that dream job. Redbook points out that you need to find the method that works with who you are and allows you to be yourself.
  • Try not to make the other person uncomfortable. If you are nervous and trying to be someone that you’re not, you may make the person you are meeting with feel the same way, which won’t leave a positive impression, cautions The Chubbette.
  • Emphasize what makes you different. If you are vying for a company’s business or trying to get a new job, point out what makes separates you from the competition, explains Beyond.
  • It’s simpler to be yourself. Arole Model examines the importance of being yourself when meeting people. If you don’t, you’ll end up misleading them, which can cause them to mistrust you when they learn the truth.
  • Be proud of yourself and your abilities. Whether you are trying to land a new job or interviewing to be on a game show, you need to be proud of what you have accomplished and let that shine through, says Your Tango.
  • Don’t put on an act. People can tell if you are acting a part instead of being genuine, warns The Authentic Salesman Blog.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

A positive attitude is a useful tool when trying to make a good impression. Ask yourself if you would rather spend time with someone who has a positive attitude or someone who has a negative attitude. Most people will choose an upbeat person who sees the glass half full. Even if you’ve been told you are negative, don’t worry. You can fix this about yourself by making some of the changes outlined in these 10 articles.

  • Tackle challenges with a smile.  Everyone is going to encounter hurdles; it’s how you handle those hurdles that shows people what you’re made of and leaves a lasting impression, says Americas Job Exchange.
  • Avoid gossip. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in an interview is to gossip or speak negatively of your last employer, explains Salisbury.
  • Don’t complain. The last thing you want to do in an interview or when meeting someone for the first time is whine or complain about something. Find more information about this on Edgewood College.
  • Try to be wellrested. No matter what the situation, you will have a better attitude if you get enough sleep, points out Inside Business.
  • Come across as friendly and positive. According to Success Professor, happy people are more likely to be remembered.
  • Believe in yourself. If you believe that you have what it takes to get the job, the client will notice, explains She Knows.
  • Avoid negative media. To maintain a positive attitude, eliminate the negative influences around you, recommends Improve Staff.
  • Be confident not arrogant. A positive attitude will naturally be conveyed if you are confident in your abilities, notes Interview Success Formula.
  • Keep your energy up. During a meeting it’s important to stay upbeat no matter what gets thrown at you, because the person you are meeting with will be able to feel your positive energy, says Morgan McKinley.
  • Surround yourself with positive energy. Ravi Moosad points out that positive energy is contagious, so pull inspiration from others’ successes.
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