Sales Recruitment Insight: Making a Great First Impression

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Most interviewers will know within the first minute whether they’d consider hiring you. That’s not much time to make an impression, is it? Here are some things to keep in mind to help you make a great first impression

The Saleslogic team's tips to help make a great first impression

Smile. Well now that seems obvious, but according to one survey, 33% of the time a candidate didn’t get a role because of a lack of smiling. So make sure to shows those pearly whites at least once! Smiles, much like a yawn, can be contagious, so if you smile, it is likely the interviewer will smile too, meaning your interview will get off to a great start.

Stand while you wait. This one might depend on your level of grace- mine is akin to a t-rex climbing a ladder- so for me, personally, I stand to avoid any awkwardness as I try getting out of the chair, with bag and coat in hand. Plus it’s easier to look more confident while standing.

Work on your handshake.  The origins of the handshake date back to the 5th century BC. It was a sign of peace, a way to show neither person was carrying a weapon. Now, as it’s less required to establish if someone has a dagger hidden in their sleeves, a handshake is the most common way of introduction, and it can say a lot about a person. A strong short handshake is best. An overly firm handshake can come off as aggressive, and a too weak or floppy handshake can mean the opposite.

Wear something bright or colourful. While it’s not recommended to dress like Mr Wormwood or Willie Wonka, wearing colour can help set a positive tone, or even help create an impression. It can also give you a psychological edge over another similar candidate. Since certain colours stick in our minds better than others, when an interviewer is reviewing interviewed candidates, they might remember you a bit better.

Here’s a helpful article about colours and their meanings

Mirror body language- This is a classic tip from the dating world. By mirroring someone’s body language, you are unconsciously saying, “I understand, I am like you”. It can help build understanding and trust. Be mindful of this, though: if the interviewer is showing bad body language ( i.e. sloughing, arms crossed defensively over the chest, shoulders hunched etc.) then avoid copying them, and perhaps set the example of good body language. If they mirror you, it can show that they are engaged and listening to you.

Here is a great article that examples in more detail mirroring body language

Avoid strong smells (both good and bad).  Be mindful of overdoing the cologne or perfume. This is important for numerous reasons- Firstly, nothing is worse than not being able to smell anything else but someone’s cologne in a small meeting room.  Secondly, while you might love it, not everyone will have the same preference in scents as you, and for some, certain scents can trigger headaches or allergies. Thirdly, smell is closed tied with memory. The last thing you want is to be associated with a negative memory. Be mindful of body odour, too. If you tend to get nervous and sweat during interviews, don’t sweat it (see what I did there); just make sure you know the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant!

Be nice to the receptionist: They are part of the back bone of any office or company, so don’t underestimate their power. It’s not uncommon for the interviewer to ask the receptionist about the interaction they had with the candidate or what the candidate did while waiting. Your interaction with the receptionist is actually the first impression you’re leaving with the company- and it does count.

Use the person’s name. Rather than a generic “Hi, it’s great to meet you”, make sure to use the interviewer’s name, “Hi Karen, it’s great to meet you”. By using their name, you’re acknowledging them as an individual, rather than just a cog in the company wheel. This can help build a sense of rapport. It will also help you to remember their name! There is nothing more awkward than forgetting or calling them the wrong name!

It’s a good idea speak with your sales recruitment consultant before your interview. They can help you prepare, and feel that bit more confident, and feeling confident will definitely help when making a great first impression!

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Saleslogic is a leading sales recruitment agency in London. We specialise in digital sales jobsSaaS sales jobssoftware sales jobs and more. Click here to view sales jobs we are currently recruiting for.