Seconds to a great first impression!

A first impression is made in seconds. In fact a series of experiments by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov reveal that all it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face. Don’t worry, we are here to help! Here are four reminders of how to ensure that first impression is a positive, long lasting one!

1. Punctuality

Punctuality is a minimum requirement. It is unacceptable to show up late, however don’t show up too early either! It forces others to rush and stop whatever they are working on to accommodate you. My rule of thumb – show up 5 to 10 minutes early.

2. Appearance

Always buy the best quality business wardrobe you can afford.  Take care to wipe off or polish your shoes and carefully select accessories to wear – no stacking bracelets that make distracting noises and nothing to “loud” in color.

3. Handshake

A handshake is non-negotiable. A weak handshake gives others the impression that you do not have confidence in yourself or are disinterested and an overly strong one can be perceived as aggressive. A firm handshake will do the trick. Check here to learn more about proper handshake etiquette.

4. Body Language

A study conducted by Albert Mehrabian of UCLA  found that 55 percent of communication is conveyed through your body language. Do not cross your legs, play with your hair, or fidget. Sit up straight and maintain eye contact.

Think back to how you interacted in your previous interviews or meetings. Was your first impression as good as you had wanted?

Mari Tanaka is a recent graduate from Kansai Gaidai University (Japan) and Valparaiso University with Degrees in both English and Business Administration – Marketing Concentration. She is originally from Japan and moved to the United States in 2009 for her studies. She loves learning new things, gaining new experience, and meeting new people!


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