First impressions count!

First Impressions Count!

“People will judge you within the first seven seconds of meeting”
“You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression”

Sound familiar? Heard it all before? Finance & Accounting professionals are becoming increasingly visible in the workplace, it’s crucial that you give the best perception of yourself from the get-go!
You could be interviewing with a CFO; you could be presenting the numbers to senior management. There are multiple relationships you’ll need to develop quickly and effectively to be successful.

Below are some tips on how to make the most of those first meetings.

1. Don’t be late
Plan your route, drive there the day before, know where you need to be. Lateness is the best way to ruin a first impression before you have a chance to make one.

2. Dress the part
It’s important to be smart, business attire/suit if you’re unsure. If you get there and it’s a very informal environment, then you can always lose your tie/jacket but better to be overdressed than underdressed.

3. The handshake
Make it firm, brief and make eye contact. When people talk about strong hand shakes it reminds me of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers in Predator. You don’t need to crush their hand but let them know you’re there and confident. At the other end of the spectrum there’s nothing worse than a limp handshake so if you fall into that bracket firm it up!

4. Body Language
There’s a bit more to it than simply sitting/standing up straight. Keep your posture open, don’t fold your arms or cross your legs, don’t be afraid to use hand gestures and move about a bit if that’s what you usually do. Also, super important to smile, your facial expression is the first thing people see.

5. Be Interested
You should have a goal in mind for each encounter that you have. Whether it’s a meeting, interview, appraisal, review it’s important you show a genuine interest in other people. Listen intently, ask questions it will make you more memorable and mean you get more out of your meetings. The more you get out of the meeting the more likely you are to achieve the goal of that meeting.

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