First Impression is the Last Impression

“People tend to hold on to their first impressions – that’s why those first descriptions can be so important. You don’t even necessarily look at people that carefully after a while; you just hold on to that early impression” —Miranda July – American film director

First impressions are important, you only make one of them! As humans, we make judgments on other people quickly. A study from Princeton University has found that people make judgements on attractiveness, likability and trustworthiness within a fraction of a second after seeing someone.

Even if presented with lots of opposing evidence, we tend to rely on our own initial impressions of people. Making these instant judgements is ingrained in our need to determine whether a stranger is a threat or not. These judgements may or may not be accurate but we just can’t stop ourselves from making them.

People, whether consciously or unconsciously aware of it, generally prefer others who are similar in looks, personality, attitude, belief and behavior to themselves. We also tend to look for familiarity in others. If we see someone for the first time that looks like a person we know who is arrogant, we then may judge this person as being arrogant. People tend to associate the emotions they felt in your presence with your personality. This means that if you made someone feel uneasy during your first meeting they might form a bad first impression.

The first thing people notice about you is your smile. A survey for USA Today by Philips Sonicare found that 47% of respondents chose a great smile as the feature that most attracted them. Second was eyes, with 31%.

Therefore, when making an impression, it is important to make a positive one. Although an individual’s judgment of you can change it takes time and sometimes shifting someone’s initial opinion is extremely hard.

So how can you make a good first impression?

Be on time

Dress neatly and appropriately

Watch your body language- maintain a good posture and make appropriate eye contact

Be enthusiastic and friendly and remember the importance of a smile

Be confident

Two things remain irretrievable: time and a first impression.

About ISBR: ISBR Business School, Bangalore-based, Top Class B School for PGDM or MBA, Consistently ranked as best B School in India, AICTE-CII Platinum Category, with multiple specializations.