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

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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

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Daniela’s Answer

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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!
Thank you! This was extremely helpful to me, and I will definitely try to remember it! Thanks again! Angelina P. Translate
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Joshua’s Answer

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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
Thank you so much, Mr. Bucens! Your answer was extremely helpful to me, and I will try to remember that! Angelina P. Translate
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Josie’s Answer

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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.
That is good advice, thank you! Angelina P. Translate
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Ron’s Answer

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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.
Thank you for your answer! That was very helpful. Angelina P. Translate
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Megan’s Answer

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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
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Uma’s Answer

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absolutely true. Your body language is the most important factor. I find taking deep breaths help me to get rid of some nervousness.
Great tip, thank you! Angelina P. Translate
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Liangliang’s Answer

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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.
That's good advice, thanks! Angelina P. Translate
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Dom’s Answer

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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.
That is true, thanks for answering! Angelina P. Translate
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Adam’s Answer

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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.
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Zhongwei’s Answer

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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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Elena’s Answer

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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.
Thanks for answering! Angelina P. Translate
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Bashobi’s Answer

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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.
That is great advice, thank you so much! Angelina P. Translate
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Tiffany’s Answer

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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...
That was a great answer, that you so much! Angelina P. Translate
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鹏’s Answer

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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
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zheng’s Answer

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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.
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双勇’s Answer

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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.
That makes sense, thank you :) Angelina P. Translate
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斌’s Answer

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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.
Thank you ! Angelina P. Translate
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Layla’s Answer

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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!
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Max’s Answer

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7 seconds to leave an impression for a life time!
Very true! Thanks for answering. Angelina P. Translate
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Li’s Answer

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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.
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语’s Answer

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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.
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Kendrick’s Answer

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Within the first seven seconds of meeting, people will have a solid impression of who you are — and some research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes to start determining traits like trustworthiness. Before meeting someone new — whether it’s a potential employer or a new client — do your homework. Know who you’re meeting, what he cares about, and what he might need from you. When meeting someone new, it’s normal to be nervous but you don’t want your anxiety to show. Your body language should be confident and comfortable. It’s useful to have a trusted friend and colleague who can help you understand how you come across to the world. Ask them what they see as your strengths, your winning traits, and the most likable things about you, and then try to emphasize those things when you’re meeting someone new. Another way to build rapport is to find a point of commonality. The goal is to create a connection on a human level. Look for clues about things like a devotion for a certain sports team, a love for a region of the world, or an admiration for a particular historical figure. To ensure your first impression sticks, it is always wise to write a personalized note of sincere appreciation to recap the conversation in a way that shows you’ve thought about it or learned some new insight from it.
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Amrita’s Answer

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On average it takes about 7 seconds to form a first impression. Now, I want to go through the psychological process that happens when a first impression is being formed.

Here’s a situation that you might be able to relate to:

You’re walking down the street. You see somebody walking toward you from the opposite direction. It’s a woman. You notice her clothes. She’s wearing an expensive looking suit and is impeccably groomed. She takes large strides and walks fast. You think to yourself, “she must have an important job, she’s probably a powerful woman”. You can imagine her being the leader of a large office and living in a big house. You’ve imagined all of this without that person saying a word!

Here’s the psychological process you just went through in those 7 seconds:

First, you looked at the woman’s appearance. Her clothes looked expensive and she was well groomed. This led you to think she was successful and wealthy.

Second, you looked at her body language. She took large strides and walked fast. This led you to think she was confident, powerful, and determined to get where she wanted to go.

Third, you made assumptions about other areas of her life such as her job and her lifestyle. Based on her clothes and body language, you thought she must have a high-powered job, be in charge of a large office, and live in a large house.

Fourth, from the few seconds you saw this woman, you formed a first impression filter. So if you bump into this woman again at your local coffee shop, everything you see or hear about her will be filtered through the first impression you just formed.

When you meet somebody for the first time, you immediately start taking in and processing information about them. You first look at their outfit and appearance. Then, you look at their body language to make decisions about that person.
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Carole’s Answer

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Angelina; Good question, 1. in that the minute that you step into the interview area you have given the interviewer some clues just by your smile, and how you are dressed; and if you come late instead of on time or a little early; If you are bringing a folder with your resume and references or applications that they wanted you to fill out, they should be neatly in a brief case or a folder some they don't fall out; 2. now you have made a good impression with your entrance and should make eye contact with the interviewer, then there should be a handshake or other words saying
"nice to meet you", You wait until she is turns to speak with you and ask that first question, which by the way, could make you look very good or not so good depending how you answer; also , don't show that you are nervous, but just be yourself with ease and confidence; after answering the first question you will probably get other questions about yourself;3 You will also get questions on the jobs that you have experience and this is where you will really shine if you do some research on the company you are interviewing with; This is where you have to do your best, because you have to know what this company does and what you can bring to this company that will impress them; you actually should have those answers memorized so that you can clearly sell yourself and your skills that would make this company want to offer you a job. 4. You must have a
real good idea for why you would like to have this particular job. 5.It is always good idea if you ask for the interviewer's card so that you can write a thank you note for the interview that you just had. There are things that idea did not specify, but each company has ways of giving interviews.
6. Lets say that money is either told to you or you know it before the interview. Usually the interviewer brings it up and they might say "What kind of salary are you expecting? Have an appropriate salary on your mind so that you don't make it too high or low. I have a book that I will suggest for you to read listed on the bottom. I hope this will help give you more confidence and ease to get an job offer that you want!

Carole recommends the following next steps:

  • I suggest "The 250 Job Interview Questions" by Peter Veruki It will really help
  • Also "The job search solution by Toni Beshara
  • Research the company so you are aware of what they do!
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Suzanne’s Answer

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First impressions are called such for a reason, but I also believe you can bounce back. The most important thing is to elude confidence. Make sure your personality shines through - don't pretend to be something you are not.

For interviews, make sure you conquer the things you have control over, such as:
1. Arrive early, don't be late.
2. Dress for success. Even if the company is casual, your attire should be interview appropriate.
3. Smile! It shows excitement and confidence.
4. Shake hands. Don't be afraid to put your hand out first. Again, eluding confidence will help make that great first impression.
5. Get personal, don't be afraid to ask how their day is going....start the conversation, don't wait for the interviewer to start the dialogue. You never know where one simple question may lead. You may connect on something outside of work, which will make you memorable.

Hope this helps!

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Thulasinathan’s Answer

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It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed.
With every new encounter, you are evaluated and yet another person's impression of you is formed. These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, and they often set the tone for the relationship that follows.
So, it's essential that you know how to create a great first impression. Here are some points that once can be aware of to create a good first impression.

Be on Time – Someone you are meeting for the first time will not be interested in your "good excuse" for running late. Plan to arrive a few minutes early and allow flexibility for possible delays in traffic or taking a wrong turn. Arriving early is much better that arriving late and is the first step toward creating a great first impression.

Present Yourself Appropriately – Of course physical appearance matters. The person you are meeting for the first time doesn't know you, so your appearance is usually the first clue he or she has to make an impression of you.
First, think about the way that you dress. What is the appropriate dress code for the meeting or occasion? In a business setting, what is the appropriate business attire? Suit, blazer, casual? And what will the person you'll be meeting be likely to wear? If your contact is in the creative arts or the music industry, a pinstripe business suit may not strike the right note!
For business and social meetings, appropriate dress also varies between countries and cultures, so it's something that you should pay particular attention to when in an unfamiliar setting or country. Make sure that you know the traditions and norms by reading up on the different cultural norms in our section on Managing Around the World.

Be Yourself – Yes, making a good first impression does mean you need to "fit in" to some degree. But it doesn't mean losing yourself or pretending to be someone you're not. The best way to create a good impression is by being your authentic self. Doing this will make you feel more confident, help you to build trust, and earn the respect and integrity from the people you meet.

Have a Winning Smile! – As the saying goes, "Smile and the world smiles too." So, there's nothing like a smile to create a good first impression. A warm and confident smile will put both you and the other person at ease. So, smiling is a winner when it comes to great first impressions. But don't go overboard with this – people who take this too far can seem insincere and smarmy.

Be Open and Confident – When it comes to making a good first impression, body language can often speak louder than words. Use your body language to project appropriate confidence and self-assurance. Stand tall, smile (of course), make eye contact, greet with a firm handshake. All of this will help you to project confidence and encourage both you and the other person to feel more at ease.
Almost everyone gets a little nervous when meeting someone for the first time. But this can lead to unwanted side effects, such as nail biting, the "jitters" or sweaty palms. By being aware of your nervous habits, you can try to keep them in check. See our article on relaxation techniques for help with this.
Remember you are meeting another Human Being NOT an Alien!

Be Positive – Your attitude shines through in everything you do. So, project a positive attitude, even in the face of criticism or in the case of nervousness. Strive to learn from your meeting and to contribute appropriately. Finally, show that you are approachable by maintaining an upbeat manner and smiling!

Be Courteous and Attentive – It goes without saying that good manners and polite, attentive and courteous behavior help make a good first impression. In fact, anything less can ruin the one chance that you have at making that first impression. So be on your best behavior!

Set aside distractions, for instance, by turning off your mobile phone so that you can give the person your full attention. And don't get sidetracked by other people. After all, what kind of first impression would you create if you are more interested in talking to someone else? Your new acquaintance deserves 100 percent of your attention. Anything less and you'll likely make them feel unimportant or even irritated.
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Rahul’s Answer

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When you only have once chance to make a first impression, make sure it's a positive one.
First impressions are not as simple or straight forward as you would like them to be.
Whatever study or figure you choose to follow, what's sure is that first impressions are pretty quick.
In this short amount of time and hurry, you might not even have the time to speak.
Your body language and facial expressions need to extend and correlate with the image you created with your outfit. So maintain strong posture, and of course make good eye contact.
Rest is history.
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Thulasinathan’s Answer

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It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed.
With every new encounter, you are evaluated and yet another person's impression of you is formed. These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, and they often set the tone for the relationship that follows.
So, it's essential that you know how to create a great first impression. Here are some points that once can be aware of to create a good first impression.

Be on Time – Someone you are meeting for the first time will not be interested in your "good excuse" for running late. Plan to arrive a few minutes early and allow flexibility for possible delays in traffic or taking a wrong turn. Arriving early is much better that arriving late and is the first step toward creating a great first impression.

Present Yourself Appropriately – Of course physical appearance matters. The person you are meeting for the first time doesn't know you, so your appearance is usually the first clue he or she has to make an impression of you.
First, think about the way that you dress. What is the appropriate dress code for the meeting or occasion? In a business setting, what is the appropriate business attire? Suit, blazer, casual? And what will the person you'll be meeting be likely to wear? If your contact is in the creative arts or the music industry, a pinstripe business suit may not strike the right note!
For business and social meetings, appropriate dress also varies between countries and cultures, so it's something that you should pay particular attention to when in an unfamiliar setting or country. Make sure that you know the traditions and norms by reading up on the different cultural norms in our section on Managing Around the World.

Be Yourself – Yes, making a good first impression does mean you need to "fit in" to some degree. But it doesn't mean losing yourself or pretending to be someone you're not. The best way to create a good impression is by being your authentic self. Doing this will make you feel more confident, help you to build trust, and earn the respect and integrity from the people you meet.

Have a Winning Smile! – As the saying goes, "Smile and the world smiles too." So, there's nothing like a smile to create a good first impression. A warm and confident smile will put both you and the other person at ease. So, smiling is a winner when it comes to great first impressions. But don't go overboard with this – people who take this too far can seem insincere and smarmy.

Be Open and Confident – When it comes to making a good first impression, body language can often speak louder than words. Use your body language to project appropriate confidence and self-assurance. Stand tall, smile (of course), make eye contact, greet with a firm handshake. All of this will help you to project confidence and encourage both you and the other person to feel more at ease.
Almost everyone gets a little nervous when meeting someone for the first time. But this can lead to unwanted side effects, such as nail biting, the "jitters" or sweaty palms. By being aware of your nervous habits, you can try to keep them in check. See our article on relaxation techniques for help with this.
Remember you are meeting another Human Being NOT an Alien!

Be Positive – Your attitude shines through in everything you do. So, project a positive attitude, even in the face of criticism or in the case of nervousness. Strive to learn from your meeting and to contribute appropriately. Finally, show that you are approachable by maintaining an upbeat manner and smiling!

Be Courteous and Attentive – It goes without saying that good manners and polite, attentive and courteous behavior help make a good first impression. In fact, anything less can ruin the one chance that you have at making that first impression. So be on your best behavior!

Set aside distractions, for instance, by turning off your mobile phone so that you can give the person your full attention. And don't get sidetracked by other people. After all, what kind of first impression would you create if you are more interested in talking to someone else? Your new acquaintance deserves 100 percent of your attention. Anything less and you'll likely make them feel unimportant or even irritated.
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Justin’s Answer

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A first impression begins with the initial meeting of another person. As an accounting student I've attended various networking events and I learned it's important to start off the interaction by giving a firm handshake and introducing yourself with a smile. Most importantly show enthusiasm and genuine interest in what the other person is telling you. Best of luck!
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Donna’s Answer

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Smile and be authentic. Don't try to be someone you aren't, it doesn't take too long to figure out the real you or that you are uncomfortable in the role you are trying to play.
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Jill’s Answer

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It only takes a moment to make a first impression and the people you come into contact with can form an opinion about you pretty quickly based on what you say, the expression on your face, your body language and overall appearance. If you want to make a good first impression, think about all of these things and how you can have the most positive impact. Be on time, dress for the occasion, smile and be positive, and always be authentic. You only have one chance at making a good first impression!
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Kimberly D (Attops)’s Answer

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Some say First Impressions are made in the first 7 seconds. But First Impressions are based on a wide range of characteristics: age, culture, race, gender, language, physical appearance, accent, posture, voice, number of people present, and time allowed to process.

First impressions may be longer if you are meeting on the phone or over video.

Kimberly D (Attops) recommends the following next steps:

  • When you are meeting people for the first time remember to present yourself the way you want to be perceived.
  • Remember to look people in the face or eyes when you meet them and when you talk to them.
  • Shake hands and make eye contact.
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Stephan’s Answer

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Hi Angelina , this is a very good question and you got some helpful and knowledgeable answers here already. Just to add, it is all about being you in a sense of being yourself and as long as you will show some interest and positivism, I believe you will be successful.

I had some successful interviews , where we had some good but quite relaxed conversations. And didn't get some jobs, where I thought I was brilliant , but to focused ( potentially overdressed etc. ).

All the Best

Stephan

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Eiman’s Answer

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Hello Angelina,


While working at a very big company, I can say that everyday is an interview. Everyday one should strive to be their very best. One should always come into the office as if they are going to an interview because you never know what eyes are observing your day to day actions. Furthermore, impressions are typically made very quickly in a corporate environment. Lastly, its safe to say that you can always change individuals impressions of oneself as well by performance and communication.

I hope that this response has provided some insight on first impressions in corporate America.


Best of luck!
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Sowmya’s Answer

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I love this question because I’m fascinated with first impressions and the whole psychological process we go through when we meet somebody for the first time.

Despite what you might think, first impressions aren’t as simple or straight forward as you’d like them to be.

Below I want to explain more about first impressions, and tell you how to not waste the first 7 seconds.

Just Handshake & smile.
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Amy’s Answer

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Hi Angelina! Typically, you have 30 seconds or less to impress someone. That's a short amount of time to show someone how awesome you are. Here are three key things to keep in mind. Be on time. Better yet, be 10-15 minutes early. You can use this extra time to mentally prepare, get relaxed and in the right frame of mind. Be confident, not only verbally, but also with your body language. Stand tall and make eye contact. When you speak, enunciate your words and speak clearly. Also, "dress for success." Your attire should be fitting for the situation. For a job interview, business casual is a good rule of thumb. For less formal interactions, casual attire should be fine, but make sure your clothes are fitting (not too tight or hanging off of you). These are just some basic tips that can help you make a great first impression. Good luck!!
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Mary Ellen’s Answer

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Bring your true and authentic self to every situation that presents itself to you. You only have a limit amount of time to make a first impressions -- within a matter of seconds.

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Shane’s Answer

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In my opinion, even the time you spent with the person in the elevator (typically less than 1 minute) you would like to make the first impression to is enough. You need to be ready on what you are going to talk about and you need to summarize and shorten your answer to provide concise description of yourself, ideally with one sentence. When you are constructing that summary line, make sure that it is relevant to the subject area that you are planning to continue the conversion with that person. Otherwise, it will be completely awkward.

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Lao’s Answer

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I truly believe first impression is everything when it comes to personal and business relationships. According to this article you have less than 30 seconds to make a good first impression. Personally, I feel like the first entire interaction is important as that is how they will remember you when they walk away. I hope this helps and feel free to check out the article below.  


https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashiraprossack1/2018/04/30/how-to-make-a-great-first-impresson/#7933972c3398


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Sheila’s Answer

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Hello Angelina:

In my opinion, first impressions does not necessarily have to have a time frame on it. From my experience, in the case of an interview I want to make sure that I'm 100% prepared by researching the company, asking thoughtful questions, understanding the role, etc. I believe that if you are well prepared making a first impression for an interview can easily be developed with no specific time frame associated. The Interviewer will gain a favorable impression of you by your preparedness, interaction during the session, eye contact, hand shake, etc.

I wish you much success on your journey. Good luck to you!

~ Sheila

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Brent’s Answer

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I don’t believe that there is a certain time. It could be immediately or over the span of an interview.

The more realistic way to look at this is that you have “one chance” to make a first impression.

So be ready to give them the best you!!

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Candace’s Answer

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That all depends on the person.  Some people will set that impression on how you look without hearing a word out of your mouth.  Others will take the time to learn about you.  Others still will let that build over several encounters.


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Sowmya’s Answer

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I love this question because I’m fascinated with first impressions and the whole psychological process we go through when we meet somebody for the first time.

Despite what you might think, first impressions aren’t as simple or straight forward as you’d like them to be.

Below I want to explain more about first impressions, and tell you how to not waste the first 7 seconds.

Just Handshake & smile.
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Michael’s Answer

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While first impressions are very important, especially if you are interviewing for a position, you will have many chances to impress your employer once you have the position.
Do not beat yourself up if you feel you first impression could've been better.
Impressions can change over time.
If you are in a professional setting I would say continue to strive to make every interaction count.
Think of everyday as an interview. Always be willing to take on extra projects and demonstrate your value to the company.

Dress to impress when you are at work and keep a positive attitude. Employers notice when the going gets tough you still keep a smile on your face and that positivity is contagious. Know that if you are consistent in demonstrating a professional appearance and positive demeanor your employer will take note.
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Cynthia’s Answer

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You only have a few seconds to make a 1st impression however you can always change ones perception of you.

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Somraj’s Answer

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The first few seconds to a minute is what anyone has to make an impression. Maintaining positive body language , dressing to the occasion , being precise in communication and maintaining a smile can help you gain a positive image in that 1 min.
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Sarah’s Answer

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First impressions are critical. When you go for an interview or meeting an agency, colleague or simply networking, make sure you assess your appearance very carefully - what you're wearing and the appropriateness of the clothing, accessories is more important than you think. Don't overthink it, be yourself but make an effort. Don't overdress, that can come across as 'superficial' and actually shows insecurity.

When I interview, I scan the candidate and form my opinion immediately. Personal grooming is a first indicator of the self esteem and essentially, can give you warning signs without even speaking.
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Miriam’s Answer

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First impressions can happen even before the first "meeting". If you send any communication -- spell check, grammar -- all of that matters. If you are showing up for an appointment -- timeliness, how you treat the front line folks -- all matters. Your personal appearance -- cleanliness, professionalism -- it all matters.
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Margie’s Answer

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If you google first impressions you will find several articles that say seven seconds is the amount of time it takes to make a first impression. You will also find that first impressions are influenced by non verbal cues. The way you walk, dress and present yourself will say a lot about you. So always arrive early and be prepared.

Being involved in the community I have encountered several individuals that the unless you get to know them you would think they were rude and mean individuals others who appear to be goofy and dumb. All because how they entered a room. Simple advice my mom always shared, arrive on time, look your best, smile, smile and smile.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/first-impressions
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Richard’s Answer

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Hi Angelina,

First impression are created in very quick span of time ; may be seconds and would be created in first few lines of your conversation.

It depends on

  1. Way you present yourself to the opposite party
  2. your body language
  3. your frame of mind
  4. how do you approach the question
  5. Your attire to some extent
  6. Attitude you display

First impression stick quite permanently and is very crucial to win the interview or conversation.

All the very best !!

Richard recommends the following next steps:

  • Read books on how to crack interviews
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Shantanu’s Answer

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It depends on person to person. Alas, there is no silver bullet for this question. Some people never judge a book by its cover, some do. So to be on the safer side though, try keeping those topics you are most comfortable in, for the very beginning. This will give an impetus to your "first impression". Hope this helps.
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Patty’s Answer

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They say you make a first impression in about 6 seconds after meeting a person for the first time. It is largely unconscious but arguably the most important impression anyone could ever make on anyone else. The first impression is the filter through which that person will perceive you going forward so it is vitally important to be "perfect" in all the ways over which you have control over this process. Have I completely scared you yet? Well let me help you prepare for it.

Many folks will tell you that you must dress professionally and look polished and elegant; that you must smile naturally, nicely, and sincerely; that you must shake hands firmly while looking straight into their eyes with a very confident, authoritative gaze-- they are not wrong. but if you are not comfortable with yourself, you will not present a good image even if you feel you have accomplished all these things.

I always say, "fake it 'till you make it." When I am getting prepared for a really important interview, I pretend I am an actress researching a part. I try to find out whatever I can about the person, the job, the company, and ANYTHING else, and then I imagine what that person expects. It's human nature for someone to gravitate toward someone that looks, walks, talks, smells, thinks, etc., just like themselves. While in recent years, there is a lot of criticism about this with respect to bias-- conscious, unconscious, or otherwise, it's human nature and that's something very difficult to change. So before even making that first impression, you need to reconcile whether you are willing to adapt-- how to do that is a WHOLE other conversation entirely, and I believe not the scope of your question. But suffice it to say, sometimes it's better to walk away and say, "it's not worth it."

With that said, once you have resolved that this is something you really want to pursue and worth whatever "stuff" you will have to endure, then find that outfit in which you feel the most comfortable, confident, empowered, fearless. Even if it's not what is usually expected for that venue, that confidence will make you glow and THAT's what that person will see. That takes care of the first 2-3 seconds. Next is to follow up with a firm, strong handshake WHILE looking that person straight in the eyes with that confidence that your outfit is making you feel. Ensure that you have a relaxed, natural smile and keep maintaining eye contact. That takes care of the next 3-4 seconds. Practice these steps in front of a mirror. While waiting to meet the person, if you are feeling excessively nervous, pause, close your eyes, take a deep breath and blow it out slowly, and imagine yourself in your happy place. Take another deep breath and tell yourself you can do this, before you go in to meet the person.

I hope this helps. Best of luck to you!

Patty recommends the following next steps:

  • Practice in front of a mirror and with friends-- especially your handshake and smile.
  • Relax!
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Shane’s Answer

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In my opinion, even the time you spent with the person in the elevator (typically less than 1 minute) you would like to make the first impression to is enough. You need to be ready on what you are going to talk about and you need to summarize and shorten your answer to provide concise description of yourself, ideally with one sentence. When you are constructing that summary line, make sure that it is relevant to the subject area that you are planning to continue the conversion with that person. Otherwise, it will be completely awkward.

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Heena’s Answer

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It depends on the situation .

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Leigh’s Answer

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First impressions begin instantly and people never forget them. How you look at someone and acknowledge them including your overall body language is key. I have learned over the years that if you listen and give attention to someone and make them the spotlight initially the interaction goes smoother. Majority of people like to talk about themselves vs. really listen and learn about others. Have a genuine interest in others. Sounding positive with an open mind to feedback or change is important and if being interviewed that is a desired trait.

I have worked for people over the years that never opened up to changing their perception on someone due to their first impression and first time interacting with them. That is why I have always adopted the phrase and way of thinking in the business world that "perception is reality" and in many cases it can become that.
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Doug’s Answer

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First impressions are formed immediately, even before you show up. If you're early or late that even shapes the first impression so never show up late. The key is to be yourself, be relaxed, human and personable and most important be confident.
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Scott’s Answer

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In my experience first impressions last only a few seconds however it's important to consider what is the value/outcome of that meeting (is this an interview for a job or are you meeting a coworker for the first time?) It's also important to weigh what the ongoing relationship with that person could be. If this is someone who you will be working with and you get off on the wrong foot for whatever reason, there may be additional opportunities to "mend" or reinvent that impression. This can be done by proactively reaching out to the individual, asking for their perspective, make positive reinforcement statements like, "I'm really looking forward to working with you in the future", or, "I hope our paths cross more often, I value your perspective." Don't be disingenuous about it however you can be optimistic about future endeavors/partnerships.
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Stephen’s Answer

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First impressions are very important and you really have only a minute or two to get it right:

1. You need to look the part - make sure your dress is appropriate and tidy - suit pressed, shoes clean hair combed etc.
2. You should have a smile on your face but don't make it a false smile - be yourself.
3. You need to be relaxed and be yourself - don't try and impress - be yourself and you will impress.
4. People can tell if you are not being true to who you are - you will not be relaxed
5. Answer the question you are asked in as few words as you can while making sure you cover the question entirely - don't waffle!
6. Don't make up stuff - if you don't have an answer be truthful and tell the interviewer so - if you make something up and it happens to be incorrect, you might as well walk out!

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Polly’s Answer

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3 seconds! I read this book years ago: https://www.secondsale.com/i/you-ve-got-only-three-seconds-how-to-make-the-right-impression-in-your-business-and-social-life/9780385484558?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxe7ftpad6QIVA-DICh14Uw9PEAQYASABEgJFr_D_BwE
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Lawrence’s Answer

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The 1st impression starts when you meet and last about 2-3 minutes.  A persons overall impression can change during the interview process that last about 30-45 minutes.   A bad 1st impression can be changed to a good impression and vice-versa.     

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