Interviewing for your dream job? Going on a promising first date? Meeting your significant other’s parents?
Here’s how to make a great first impression during all the most important moments:
1. Be on time. To arrive at your destination calm, collected and without breaking a sweat, give yourself more than enough time for travel. Take into account such unforeseen circumstances as traffic, road closures and parking snafus. If you’re in an unfamiliar area, consider mapping your route the day before.
2. Prepare for the unexpected. From coffee drips to spaghetti mishaps, unexpected wardrobe malfunctions can happen to anyone and any time. Always be prepared to remove the most common on-the-go stains. Pack a portable stain remover.
3. Pay attention to details. Other small details relating to your overall presentation matter. In addition to a portable stain remover, a small to-go kit in your car, bag or desk drawer can include dental floss, nail polish for touch-ups, an emergency pair of panty hose, lipstick or lip balm, breath mints, hair ties, moisturizer and anything else you need to make on-the-fly adjustments.
4. Dress for the occasion. It’s important to dress right for the occasion, particularly in professional contexts. While standing out can be a good thing, following the (often unspoken) dress code will help ensure you’re only doing so for the right reasons.
5. Be well-rested. Get a great night’s sleep. Not only will you look your best if you show up well-rested, but you’ll also be thinking more clearly, be more engaged, ask more insightful questions and field your responses more carefully.
While you only get one shot at a first impression, there’s no reason to stress. With a little preparation and attention to detail, you can ensure you’re on top of your game, come what might.