The Power of First Impressions

Published on Mar. 27, 2014

Making a positive first impression is crucial in your job search. Often, key decisions and opinions are formulated by stakeholders in this initial meeting that could impact the final outcome of your search. To borrow the wise words of Will Rogers, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”

Here at DGA Careers, our associates and consultants interview insurance industry candidates on a daily basis for a variety of positions ranging from intermediate to executive. Every day, we see first-hand how first impressions can either make or break a candidate’s application.

We’d like to share a true story that really exemplifies the power of first impressions. In an initial interview, a candidate had interviewed impeccably well and had a remarkable profile. However, in the second interview with the employer, the individual came in wearing inappropriate attire with messy hair and made confusing comments like, “I don’t know why I’m here.” This is a candidate who brought many years of experience to the table and who was mentored and groomed to be a top-notch professional. To our dismay, the person left the interview having created a very poor first impression and having tarnished his/her image with the employer. To this day, we are completely perplexed by the candidate’s unforeseeable change in disposition and self-presentation.

On a more positive note, we are delighted to share with you our tips on what creates the best first impressions. Check out the following observations on what we believe works and positively impacts our candidates’ abilities to secure rewarding opportunities:

1. Ready to Roll

Well-equipped candidates make the best first impression on us at DGA. They come in having researched companies and roles they are interested in. They impress us with their definitive understanding of who they are and what they have to offer. Their preparedness enables us to establish a clear understanding of their skills and to identify positions best suited to their qualifications and needs.

2. Dose of Confidence

A firm dose of confidence is just what every lasting, first impression needs, but not to the point where confidence portrays arrogance. True confidence is expressed when individuals are able to positively showcase why and how they are the best candidates for a particular role. Confidence coupled with humility and integrity deserves a standing ovation.

3. Embellished in Enthusiasm

The greatest candidates are those who are brimming with enthusiasm. Their passion embodies their humanity by lighting up the room and easing the atmosphere. In addition, they tend to come and go with a smile. If we compare a smiling candidate and a non-smiling candidate with the same qualifications, the “smiler” always gets our thumbs up. Make the best first impression by sending enthusiastically charged vibes our way!

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