by Allison Kapner
How are dating and interviewing the same? Let’s examine Step 4: The First Impression.
Congratulations, you made it! You went through the awkward first contact, prepped as much as you possibly could and now it’s show time!
Of course, all that means is that you made it through the awkward initial set-up meeting and now it’s time for the awkward first greeting.
The interview is easy, shake your interviewer’s hand and mimic their grip. Don’t go in too strong right away… even if you are Superman or Wonder Woman. If your interviewer’s handshake is dainty and delicate and you squeeze too strong, it will work against you. Instead, be firm, quick and confident as you let them lead the way. Two other pieces of advice: 1) As you are shaking hands, make eye contact and smile. 2) Make sure you let the interviewer lead the way to the office if you have to make your way somewhere else in the building, even if you’ve been to this office before.
How about dating? Do you hug, kiss on the cheek, kiss cheek to cheek, shake hands… What do you do? It really depends on your comfort level with the person before the date and how much you’ve spoken. I generally go for the quick cheek-to-cheek kiss or awkward but-trying-to-make-it-not-awkward-hug which turns into a side hug of some sort. Regardless, expect it to be awkward but muscle up a big smile and show enthusiasm. If you are the man, opening your date’s car door will most likely win you some brownie points, and girls, for those of you who are fans of The Bronx Tale, electronic locks make it difficult to pass “the test” so don’t feel pressured. But still pay attention to whether your date doesn’t have the automatic locks or doesn’t use them to unlock his door.
Remember, in both cases, you have only 10 seconds to make a first impression. Your nonverbal communication is imperative during this stage, so make sure you exude confidence and an upbeat spirit. (People like to surround themselves with positive people so this impression will get you off on the right foot.)
No pressure, right? If you fumble during the impression, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. Pick yourself up and go get ’em!
Allison Kapner is a Relationship Manager in Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School where she is responsible for building partnerships with employers to ultimately create job and internship opportunities for students and alumni. She also advises and coaches students on job search techniques and brings a unique corporate expertise to assist candidates, as her past experience was as an Executive Recruiter in financial services in New York City.Google+