First Impressions

Remember Names

People respond to the sound of their own name, and when you can address others personally, you make them feel important. Repeating a name immediately after hearing it, and using it in your conversation, will increase your ability to remember it, but the most important thing you can do to remember a name is to listen. Sometimes we are distracted or thinking about what we will say next and don’t really listen.

Make Eye Contact

Look at people when you say hello, and pay attention to their eye colour. When you look at someone long enough to remember the colour of their eyes, you allow enough time to make a connection.

Offer a Firm Handshake

Handshakes and introductions go hand in hand.

Be ready to introduce yourself…multiple times!

You’ll be meeting a lot of people on day one so be prepared to say who you are, your position title and your educational background.

Example: “Hi, I’m Jasdeep. I work in the Master Data Management department as a Quality Assurance Analyst. I’m studying Information Technology at York University.”

How to Survive Day One

Check out this video:


  1. Choose your first day outfit carefully, and before your first day!
  2. Show up on time (10-15 minutes early).
  3. Be prepared to answer who you are, where you’re from and what you’re doing multiple times.
  4. Do more listening than talking – try to remember names, and take notes.
  5. Introduce yourself to others confidently.
  6. Be prepared to ask someone to have lunch with you or bring a book.
  7. Offer to help and participate wherever possible.
  8. Don’t bring a present for your boss right away – it will seem like you are trying to get an advantage.
  9. Don’t rush out at end of the day/the end of your shift.

What to Wear

Most workplaces are business casual. Look around at what other people are wearing within the first few days for examples of dress code standards. Don't go spending all of your first paycheck on a new wardrobe, investing in a few staple pieces should do the trick.

Some suggestions include:

  • Dress pants with shirt and tie, belt and closed toed shoes to match
  • Business dress (to about the knee, stay away from spaghetti straps) with or without a sweater/blazer.
  • Dress pants, shirt, and sport coat.
  • Skirt (to about the knee) and blouse or cardigan.
  • Dress pants with sweater.