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Do you make a good first impression? Stand out to employers with these simple tips from psychologist Ann Demarais, ph.D., who founded the executive coaching firm First Impressions.


Lock Eyes

On average, people make eye contact 70-80% of the time. Think about people you know who don’t do this. Do they come across as shifty or lacking in confidence? Well, you will too if you don’t make a conscious effort to maintain eye contact. People who make less eye contact than normal are often unaware of it.


Lean In

Body language makes up over half of all communication- so don’t forget about it! Others notice the way you position yourself before you even open your mouth. Leaning towards another person shows then that you are interested in what they have to say.



Update yourself on current events so you will have some topical choices for an initial conversation. These topics can be quirky, but avoid controversial subject matter such as religion and politics.


Defer Attention

People love to talk about themselves. So let them! Focus on the person interviewing you and ask them relevant, specific questions. You will make a much better first impression by focusing on them rather than focusing on yourself.



Keeping your face neutral may feel natural, but it could make the other person nervous, or worse, make them perceive your expression as negative. Remember, the interviewer is nervous just like you. They are looking for signs of approval during the interview too; a smile will give them that and make them feel at ease with you.


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