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Creating a great first impression.

Click on the play button to view the introduction video

Creating a Great First Impression


How do you want them to see you on day one? To be effective, you also have to take into consideration who your audience is, what do they care most about. For most of the interviewers, their first impressions of you will be influenced by their own agendas. You're focused on your own ambitions, but your arrival automatically means change for everyone you will be working with.


Some of them will be happy about the change, others concerned about what it could mean for them. This is especially true for those most impacted by your arrival, your manager, your direct reports, internal clients, and partners. From the minute you show up, they're thinking, "Do you seem smart and capable?


Do you seem like someone I can work with? Will you make my life harder or easier? Do you have the right attitude and values? Are you likely to make problems for me?"


To make the strongest first impression, think first about what qualities you want to convey about yourself right out of the gate.


Be strategic: Emphasise the strengths and experience that are most important for the job. This helps you establish credibility and head off any concerns about your ability to step into the role.


Be authentic. You'll want to prepare some speaking points and use those talking points as an outline, not a script. If you come across as too slick and self-promotional, it will limit your ability to connect.


Be confident. It's important to convey confidence even if you have to fake it a bit. If you're confident, you're more likely to win their confidence too. Confidence is particularly important for conveying executive presence in a more senior role. Be respectful. Don't be a know it all. Come in ready to listen and learn.


It's easy to turn people off with too much arrogance or self-importance. Be enthusiastic. Make it clear that you're happy to be there and excited to get started. In order to translate these recommendations into a strong first impression, you need a good introduction.


Take some time to outline your introduction bullet points in advance. You will be meeting a lot of new people during the interview stage, so it will be helpful to have a consistent elevator pitch intro to get things off on the right foot.

7 Handy Hints



Create confirmation bias before you attend the interview.

The most important tool available to you is your personal video. SalesXtra will send this video to members and prospective employers.


Even though many may not be currently hiring, they will be able to view your video through our newsletter and this may trigger a favourable response.


Dress for Success in your video and make the interviewer WANT to meet you.


Click the play button on the left to view a sales graduate example.


Your resume is a sales tool not a grocery list. Check out the section on Resume Mistakes That Make You Look Dumb before you create your resume.


Prepare: Prepare: Prepare: Visit the company’s website and print 3 to 4 pages you can refer to during the meeting. Place these and a copy of your resume in a professional holder.


When Meeting the interviewer, look them in the eye and offer your hand with the fingers pointing to the interviewer. A good firm grasp with a single pump will create a much more favourable impression than a bone cruncher or the dreaded “dead fish” approach. You will view 10 ideas on handshakes in the next section.


Look for common ground to develop rapport.


Sit with your body at a slight angle rather than face to face, this creates a more comfortable scenario than sitting directly facing each other. Some people are very protective of their personal space and treat their desk as an extension of themselves. Don’t risk starting badly by putting your folder or any other material on the interviewers desk until rapport is developed.

Click on the play button to view a first meeting sales video


Finally, show enthusiasm in your actions, facial expressions and speech. Demonstrate that you see this opportunity as an exciting next step for you. Most importantly, make it clear that you are motivated to take on this opportunity right now.

This is not the time to be modest or self-deprecating. You must be ready, willing, and able to talk about what makes you a great catch for the company.