Whilst we all know that first impressions of others are rarely accurate (don’t judge a book by its cover!), we are all biologically designed to make snap judgments about those we meet – it’s a friend or foe instinct.
This means we can’t help but make up our mind about someone within the first minute of meeting them. With this in mind, the first day of a new job can be nerve-wracking! To help ease you into things, here are our top tips on making a good first impression.
The biggest part of making a good impression is coming off as confident on the outside, even if you don’t feel like it on the inside. Doing this is all about body language and there are plenty of things you can do to trick your new colleagues into thinking you are cool, calm and collected.
Smiling might sound like silly advice, but it’s key in showing that you are a warm and open person, so it is worth consciously trying to do. Alongside this is standing up straight with your shoulders back and giving a firm handshake (with no sweaty palms!).
Introduce yourself to everyone
When you’re meeting the rest of the team, make an effort to greet every single person – smile and shake their hands. If you can, try to remember everyone’s names as quickly as possible, though people will be forgiving for the first few days if you don’t quite get there.
If there is a team meeting, one tip is to write their names down as people introduce themselves to you in the order that they are sitting. Having a quick guide to look back at later is invaluable.
Once you have said a quick hello to everyone, over the course of your first few days ask each team member if they have time to get a quick cup of coffee with you during your first two weeks. Use this time to get to know each person properly. Ask about their career background, their role and how it might intersect with yours, as well as how you can best work together.
The more you know about their job and their working style the better, and it will show them that you are interested in their work and in being an invested part of the team.
When working with your manager and colleagues during the early days of your new role, demonstrate that you are eager to learn by asking lots of questions. Don’t go in assuming you know it all already.
Even if you might know the subject area well, there is plenty around the wider context and culture that you will need to learn about with humility.