21 answers

How much time do you have to make a first impression?

Asked Mentor, Ohio

I know that first impressions matter, that they are extremely important. Does anyone know exactly how long you have to make a first impression?
Thank you!
#marketing-and-advertising #information-technology-and-services #financial-services #customer-service

21 answers

Daniela’s Answer

Updated State of Goiás, State of Goiás, Brazil
Hi Angelina! Everybody knows how important first impressions are. But not everybody knows that the "first impression" is actually only a seven second window upon first meeting someone. To nail the interview and be remembered well here are seven things to do in those crucial seven seconds from The Graduate Recruitment Bureau: 1. Smile. Facial expression is so important when it comes to making a good impression. You need to make sure your expression is saying more about you than words could in a split second. Make sure you don’t have a false, cheesy grimace slapped across your face- they will know it is fake and masking nerves, arrogance or nonchalance. 2. Shake their hands. The handshake is the universally accepted signal of professionalism, politeness and confidence. A good handshake is a fine art; a tricky balance between a tight squeeze and a limp stroke. It needs to say "I mean business" and also "I’m cooperative," so you might want to perfect it beforehand. Additionally, make sure you shake all their hands if there are multiple interviewers. You don’t want to get in one of their bad books because you only acknowledged the person in the middle, or the "main" interviewer. Greet them all separately and you will have successfully presented yourself well, creating their good impression of you. 3. Introduce yourself. The chances are someone probably called you from a waiting room with a file of notes about you, so they know who you are. But even so, when you shake their hands just say "Hi I’m Ashley;" they will then introduce themselves and you can reply "lovely to meet you" or something similar. It breaks the tension and gives the first few seconds a conversation topic. It also means you are less likely to waffle on about irrelevances, like the temperature in the waiting room, or clam up completely and not say anything. Every one of the seven seconds needs to be productive so don’t waste any on random topics- you are there to talk about you, so do so right from the beginning. 4. Speak clearly. There is little point introducing yourself and saying wonderful things if they can’t understand what you are saying. Speak in a competent and confident way making sure what you say is relevant and appropriate; you want to paint yourself in a good light and give them as much, good information as possible. Make sure you don’t speak too loudly and talk at an appropriate pitch- it’s been found that people will take you more seriously if you have a deeper voice. This doesn’t mean you need to go all Morgan Freeman, but think about it, nobody wants an over excited mouse in the office. 5. Maintain eye contact. People perceive you as shifty, nervous or rude when you don’t make eye contact. Therefore, to make a good first impression make sure you lock eyes with the interviewer as soon as you enter the room and maintain it whilst you shake hands and introduce yourself. Don’t stare or be creepy about it, but hold the interviewer’s gaze for at least three seconds at a time throughout the rest of the interview too. 6. Look smart. Appearance is as important as body language and your answers in an interview, so you need your appearance to be fitting for the occasion. Even if the company accepts casual dress, it is good practice to dress smartly for the interview; you’d much rather be overdressed than seen as scruffy. Additionally, remove any extreme piercings, for example facial ones apart from earrings, and cover any visible tattoos with long sleeves or buttoned up blouses. You’ll be judged on your appearance in the seven seconds, so make sure there is nothing that could hinder their first impression of you. 7. Sit down only when invited to do so. After you have shaken all of their hands and formally introduced yourself the natural next step is to sit down. However, it is polite to wait until the interviewer invites you to. They will probably just say"please sit down" or "take a seat," but if you just walk straight in and plonk yourself in front of them it will appear rude and hasty. Additionally, if they then go to shake your hand you have the embarrassment of standing back up and risk getting flustered. The best plan of action to give them a good first impression of you is to do the meet and greet then sit down when you are invited to. It’s a lot to remember and put in to practice but it will be over before you know it- in seven seconds to be exact. So smile, shake hands, speak clearly and look smart to create the best first impression ever. The rest of the interview is up to you… Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/only-7-seconds-to-make-first-impression-2013-4 Good luck!
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Thank you! This was extremely helpful to me, and I will definitely try to remember it! Thanks again!

Josie’s Answer

Updated Saint Petersburg, Florida
When the person first sees you they are forming their impression of you. It is important to look good and as important feel good in what you are wearing. Your smile, your body language, be yourself. If you are a genuine person, this will come across. I find if I say right away in my own words, "Oh gosh! I am nervous!" It calms me down and then I can present myself even better by just admitting my nerves.
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That is good advice, thank you!

Joshua’s Answer

Updated
In my experience, first impressions start a few seconds before your initial contact with whoever your target is. Mentally preparing yourself is very important. Often what we were last thinking about (family, work or something else) will carry over into the next conversation we have, or at least the emotions will. Focusing on the task at hand is key. I will give an example of something I like to do before a job interview... I will immerse myself in information about the position and company right up until the call begins, my name is called from the waiting room or before that initial contact. That way my thoughts are already geared on the right subject matter-- this sounds trivial but our minds wander all the time. I am now ready to go! (Mentally). From a physical perspective, we should always be dressed for the occasion. I know some people who will wear suits for every interview and swear by it. This just doesn't make sense to me. What I like to do is ask about office attire, this way I am able to dress just as everyone else is, who has already made it past this point and is employed by the company! This will ensure that we are never under-dressed or over dressed & uncomfortable. We have now also demonstrated an interest in being reflective or part of the company's culture. Part of our physical appearance and another crucial part of first impressions is our body language. It's important to project an air of self confidence but to avoid taking that message too far. The last way you want to portray yourself is arrogant, condescending or in a rude way. You should be proud and confident because YOU ARE AWESOME and have accomplished plenty, but never forget we can always learn something from someone else. First impressions come to a close when you leave the premises of the workplace. Shake your interviewer's hand, thank them, don't forget to maintain eye contact. Let them know how great it was to learn about the company and culture they have created, I like to make it personal and tie something in that you may have talked about that you are confident was unique to your conversation. Compose yourself and exit your interview. I have known of some interviewers who will watch you walk down the hall to see how you interact with others or even as you walk to your car to see how you hold yourself when you think you are unwatched. Be composed, confident, and go be great. I believe in all of you! #first-impressions #interviews #interviewing-skills
Updated
Thank you so much, Mr. Bucens! Your answer was extremely helpful to me, and I will try to remember that!

Ron’s Answer

Updated Phoenix, Arizona
You've got 5 to 10 seconds. If you don't make an impact in that short period of time.......game over. A strong hand-shake, eye contact, a smile, display confidence and introduce yourself with solid oration. This will garner the attention of the person sitting in front of you. Good luck to you.
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Thank you for your answer! That was very helpful.

Megan’s Answer

Updated
Hi Angela, I have a slightly different perspective in that I don't think that there is a "time limit." I believe that people putting time limits on an interview are often times missing out on a very good candidate. I've hired people in many countries and in those countries, the classic US-centric behaviors aren't really the norm and sometimes people in the US lack these as well. Many of these people when coming in won't look directly at you, can be very soft-spoken, aren't used to shaking hands, etc. I try to give everyone an opportunity to let me know who they are and what they offer and not rush to judgement. These are a few things that are key in a candidate: 1. Asking questions. Nobody has the time or energy to babysit so while maybe you don't have the absolute best qualifications of a candidate, if you ask questions then I'm going to be more confident that you will survive in the job rather than someone who doesn't. 2. Ask if you don't understand - don't pretend you know something. Computer science is so broad today, nobody expects you to know everything and if they do, I'd never in a million years work for them. Asking for explanations in a respectful way again makes me believe that you will survive. And as a side-note, if you are being interviewed by someone who has ego issues, they will get pumped up believing that they are bestowing their wisdom on you so it is a win-win. 3. Have an active conversation but be a good listener. I've had people who just start talking and talking and talking. I realize that nervousness can play a role but if I've tried to interrupt you and slow you down with questions several times, eventually I will give up. If you're not willing to hear me, then likely it will be the same with others because you cannot get beyond your own opinions and/or assumptions. 4. Do your homework on the company and do the homework on yourself. Prepare answers to as to why this job interests you and more importantly why you are uniquely qualified to do the job. The things mentioned above by others are nice to do but I find that if you meet someone and say hello and repeat their name, this is a good tactic. Dress should be based on the company and it is fine to ask the recruiter to be specific. Most software companies are not really in the suit and tie business unless you are interviewing on an executive level. Wear something that makes you feel confident. Above all, don't feel like you need to pad your resume. Lies on resumes are the fastest way out of my door. I've received resumes from people who worked for me before (not by my choice mind you) with obvious lies. I've also received resumes from total strangers who I know are lying because they mention software or a language of some kind in a way which makes it clear they don't have a clue what it is. If your resume is on the short side because you're just starting out, build it by internships, volunteering, creative methods like that. And take advantage of learning new things at every opportunity. This will keep you in the game for a long time and also give you new things to add to your resume. Best of luck to you. #successful-interviewing #building-your-career

Uma’s Answer

Updated Dearborn, Michigan
absolutely true. Your body language is the most important factor. I find taking deep breaths help me to get rid of some nervousness.
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Great tip, thank you!

Liangliang’s Answer

Updated
It takes about 20 minutes, but before that, you need lots of preparation---- appearance, speech and deportment, content, and your good mood and attitude. This is the only interview that won't get the chance again.
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That's good advice, thanks!

Dom’s Answer

Updated
I agree with most posts regarding 7 seconds, however if you establish a long term relationship with the person, then there are infinite opportunities to make a good impression. I have met many people who impressed me initially but later proved to be less than impressive. I have also met others that I was not too impressed with that later changed my mind. So in short term situations it is key to make a quick first impression, however when you know this will be a long relationship, you have some time.
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That is true, thanks for answering!

Max’s Answer

Updated Houston, Texas
7 seconds to leave an impression for a life time!
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Very true! Thanks for answering.

Elena’s Answer

Updated
First impressions vary. I would tell you that in the selling world, you have less than 5 minutes to make a strong enough impression to keep their interest for the next 30 mins to 60 mins. If you walk in to an interview dressed inappropriately, your first impression will be made in less than 5 seconds. Very sad, but true.
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Thanks for answering!

斌’s Answer

Updated
Keeping a good habit at ordinary times, keeping clean and neat appearance, smiling, talking and listening habits, and then expressing personal opinions appropriately, it will shorten the time of first impression.
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Thank you !

zheng’s Answer

Updated
As a successful sale, the first impression of a customer is very important. I have been selling computer for 15 years, and in my experience, the best time to leave a first impression is the first 10 minutes to contact with the customer. There are a few points to be paid attention to. First, the appearance is very important, neat, appropriate clothes you need to prepare. Second, smile, people are more willing to communicate with good people. Third, an interesting self - introduction is easy to give a better first impression.

Adam’s Answer

Updated Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
3 seconds. Seriously. WEAR THE UNIFORM: (whether that's an actual uniform or "business casual", etc.). People make an assessment of "Is this the type of person that will do a good job and not be problematic" in 3 seconds flat. Spend some money on classic dress clothes. Take care of it. Make sure it's cleaned and pressed. Good shoes (brown, black). Navy or charcoal is better for younger people (black makes you look like a waiter). You don't want to look like a child, so do not dress too fashionably. Classic professional is probably the best look. SMILE AND MAKE EYE CONTACT: Look optimistic. There's a lot to be happy about. BE HONEST AND DIRECT: Tell them what you really, really, truly are after. Remember that you may be working in the same town/industry with this person for 20 years.

语’s Answer

Updated
First, we need to have a clear understanding of ourselves. We need to know our strengths and weaknesses in communication. We need to know what we want to impress others. Second, to get along with strangers, you have to communicate in a comfortable way. To let other people do not hate you first, and then deepen the impression that you are in front of others. Third, we need to understand that our life needs to be grasped by ourselves. Other people's impressions are important, but they still need to live in a way they like. Finally, I wish you to be able to work in your life.

Bashobi’s Answer

Updated
A simple smile, a direct look into the eyes, walk almost in line with the person is first good impressions. This does not mean it will ride you over the actual interviewing. If there is a panel of people interviewing you, first impressions will allow everyone to get relaxed, even the interviewers. First impressions at the workplace always would be an ability to demonstrate that you understand the task/problem/solution as a first step. Then depending on your experience level of the issue, first impressions would be ability to listen and follow through step by step. That gives a lot of confidence to people to put their trust in you thereafter.
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That is great advice, thank you so much!

Layla’s Answer

Updated Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Not sure you can quantify it in terms on mns but certainly not a lot ! maximum 5 mns I would say The other thing i wanted to say that it takes more time to build a good impression that time to ruin it ; you can do a fantastic 30mns presentation and then if by accident you fall down when leaving the room , people will remember you for that ! jokes aside I think it is important to always show the best image of ourselves in any occasion and with whomever you are interfering with - be humble anytime because you can learn from anyone!

Li’s Answer

Updated
You'll never have second chances to make a first impression!!! Professional behavior The first impression is very important in the process of communicating with people. Whether a person can attract others' attention can bring good or bad impression from his dressing, speaking and manners, including some subtle actions. Such as look, expression, voice and so on. And everyone feels different for impression, the standard can not be unified. In general, the better professional behavior, the better impression. For example, when you negotiate, if you put a thick stack of information on the negotiating table, what would you feel about your opponent? The opponent must feel that you have attached great importance to the negotiation, and that you have done a lot of preparation, that you have attached great importance to him, and that you are very professional. And if some documentation and our data is through a crumpled paper submitted to each other, what feeling? He certainly felt that you did not pay enough attention to him, at least not to pay much attention to the negotiation. Therefore, if you are very professional in some detail, it will leave your opponent a very good impression. Remember: you never have second chance to make a first impression!!! The first impression will be remembered in only 7 seconds. From the start of contact, 7 seconds of time you have left an impression to the other person, is not professional, can not be able to judge. The performance of professional behavior includes several aspects. The first is the appearance, dress like that; The second is the body language and facial expressions, body language including gesture language; The third is the daily work and life etiquette, such as shaking hands, dialogue, meeting etiquette, elevator etiquette. Appearance, body language, and expression etiquette constitute the whole professional behavior.

Tiffany’s Answer

Updated
So research says that you have about 7-9 seconds to make a first impression. My opinion is that, you do have more than that. Take for instance, you bombed your first impression, does this mean that your life is over with that person, that that person will despite you immediately? No. If you only have a significant amount of time to interact with that person - yes those initial seconds are very important. Dress the part, smile. If you have a lot of time to interact with that person - say you "bomb" the first impression, you will have time to win them over again. If you are generally a nice, pleasant person to be around then you will eventually win them over despite making a possible bad impression. Hope this answers your question...
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That was a great answer, that you so much!

鹏’s Answer

Updated Shanghai, China
The media planner has a famous saying: to make a good impression, you only need 7 seconds. Through a lot of analysis, the researchers have been able to successfully describe the factors that affect the composition of first impressions. More than half of the composition of the first impression is related to the appearance of the first impression. It is not only a beautiful face, but also the subtle differences in body, temperament, spirit and clothes. The first impression has about 40% of the information related to the sound. Tone, tone, speed and rhythm will affect the composition of first impressions. Only less than 10% of the first impression is related to speech and behavior

双勇’s Answer

Updated
1.The first impression is good or bad, fifty percent is related to the appearance of the person, so good dress, proper appearance of the appearance of the instrument is very important. So in entering the public occasions or when the instrument is very important 2.In the process of communicating with each other, sound volume, voice, intonation, speed and rhythm are very important, directly affecting the sensual feelings of the other. Thus leaving the first impression. 3.The content of a talk is directly related to a person's behavior and accomplishment, because when trying to communicate with others, try to show their knowledge and do not talk about superficial topics or disagreements.
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That makes sense, thank you :)

Zhongwei’s Answer

Updated
only a few seconds, regarding to what you are wearing in what kind of environment & what you do before initiating the first contact & the look on your face while making the contact - should probably observe well the person you are gonna run into, so that you could get to know how your plan would be. & eye contact, confidence. carefully choose the topic you are going to start with, it is either something related to the event you are attending, or the potential hobbies the contact object might fall into (usually you could tell from the appearance & gestures).
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