Section: Dressing for the Occasion - Blog
Seven seconds. That’s all it takes for a person to decide whether you’re worth their time. From your handshake to the colour of your tie, every nuance of your bearing and appearance is evaluated in those seven seconds.
When you have so little time to create a lasting and positive impression on someone, then it pays to have a few tricks up your sleeve especially for interviews or client meetings. So what can you do to make a great first impression?
Here are a few tips we’ve picked up during our many years of meeting new people.
It might seem like an odd question, but do you know what your handshake feels like? Of course you don’t. So how do you know that you’re doing it right?
Your grip should be firm but not too overpowering, and a good rule of thumb is to try to match the power of the other person. And remember that nobody enjoys a seemingly endless handshake, two shakes and it’s time to disengage.
Ask a friend who has experience dealing with people on a daily basis for a handshake critique and if need be, then start practicing until you get it right.
‘Alright!’ is a great way to greet your mates down the pub but not what you would call ideal when walking into an interview. Addressing the person you are meeting with by name instills a feeling of trust. If you’ve gone to the trouble of remembering their name, then you must be a nice enough guy. However, using their first name right off the bat is a touch overly familiar. Stick to titles and surnames only.
And by this we mean bring your sartorial A-game. A finely tailored suit works wonders on the subconscious mind, but there are a few things you must take into account.
Anything less than a perfect fit will create a lasting image of a man that just wasn’t prepared or worse, someone that takes little or no pride in his appearance. And a man like this might not be the ideal fit (pun intended) for that c-level position.
Winners in terms of fashion are always the low key guys that go for an understated look. They belong in the suit, in fact, it’s quite obvious that the suit is nothing without them in it. This is how you want people to perceive you, as a man with effortless style. It’s not easy to achieve but trust us when we say the word subtle is key to your efforts.
A navy-blue suit with dark brown shoes and a white business shirt will last far longer in the memory than a crushed velvet jacket. Not that you would wear a crushed velvet jacket anyway, would you?
Your choice of colours depends on the purpose of the meeting. If you are applying for an internship with a creative agency then, by all means, add some flair to your outfit with a colourful tie or pocket square showcasing your creative streak.
On the other hand, if it’s a law firm, then double down on formality and stick to neutral shades and hues.
The key here is to fully understand who you are dealing with and their industry.
Ties and pocket squares are par for the course but accessorizing further may, in fact, do more harm than good. Remember what we said about subtlety? Accessories such as cufflinks and tie pins draw attention away from you, and this may affect your standing in the eyes of this new person you are meeting.
If you must use them, then play it safe with inconspicuous accessories that have zero bling factor.
The one biggest mistake people make when trying to create a good first impression is to play what they consider to be a better version of themselves. Be yourself at all times because let’s face it, keeping up a pretense is tiring work and you can only do it for so long.
So the next time you meet a new person, be it in a meeting, interview, or a social event, make those first seven seconds count and create a last first impression for all the right reasons.
While you can probably pull together that memorable occasion outfit by yourself, why make things hard on yourself? Set up an appointment with one of our style specialists or pop by our Sydney showroom at your convenience for some free sartorial advice.
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