How Much Do First Impressions Matter?

“What would you say if man walked in here with no shirt, and I hired him?” – “He must have had on some really nice pants.”

This famous conversation from the movie, Pursuit of Happiness (starring Will Smith where he portrayed Christopher Gardner), is how you properly recover from not wearing a shirt to a job interview.

Most people are not that clever.

Most interviewees are not that forgiving.

First impressions count and in a big way and how we look plays a huge part in this equation.

Dale Carnegie said that there are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world.  We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts:

  • What we do
  • How we look
  • What we say
  • How we say it

Notice that “how we look” comes before “what we say”.

What we do gets us to the door, how we look determines if we get in, what we say and how we say it determines if we stay.

Whether we like it or not, “Does he/she look the part?” is a question everyone asks themselves quickly and instinctively.

survey by Accountemps, which specializes in global temporary staffing services for accounting professionals, says a majority of interviewers form a positive or negative opinion of job candidates within 10 minutes.

10 minutes for a job interview, what about on the street?

Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov conducted experiments which show that it takes less than the blink of an eye, one/tenth of a second, to form an impression of a stranger.

That being said, what is the main characteristic in someone you immediately form a positive opinion of?

The re-occurring theme in just about every article written on the subject of giving a strong first impression is confidence.

People are quickly and naturally drawn to confident people. 

“How to look the part” is comprised of many little details, from your eye contact to your hand-shake to your body language. 

Confident people dress the part, control their body language, present themselves clearly and are attentive.

When all the details come together an appearance of confidence is achieved. 

These little details matter and luckily for us they can be amended with a few small changes that anyone can do as long as you recognize the need for improvement. 

According to a Forbes.com article on how to make a killer first-impression, a simple small change in the way you stand or how you angle your shoulders can change the impression you project onto others. 

“Man, that guy has great body language” may not be something you hear everyday on the street and mostly likely will not be heard in the future, even with the rise of postural awareness in the mainstream media.

But forming a snap judgement about someone looking confident or judging someone on their body language alone, happens………and often.

How long does it take you to form an opinion of others?

What steps are you taking to improve your first-impression?

TEAM CORPORE Wear / Stand Tall & Smile

Michael Thompson / Brand Manager

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