Seven seconds, thirty seconds, or the blink of an eye. You have probably heard different things about how long it takes for a first impression to be made. But no matter how long it takes one thing is for sure.
Whether in a job interview, on a first date or the subject of coffee shop people watchers (guilty...) everyone has that initial opinion of you.
It might not matter what the strangers you'll never see again think, but in certain situations, a good first impression is vital! So today, we're sharing our top three key elements to make a great first impression in any situation. Plus some extras for those more specific moments.
Despite it being a popular phrase, we rarely don't judge a book by it's cover. So it's important to look and dress the part.
Your physical appearance is the first thing to show who you are and what you want to say, without even saying a thing.
Firstly, dress to impress. Your outfit must match the occasion and environment you're in. So for a job interview or business meeting, a smart suit and shoes make the best combination. For more casual occasions like a dinner date, a casual shirt with chinos or smart jeans shows you made an effort without going OTT.
Secondly, make sure you're well groomed. Hair brushed, any facial hair trimmed and no dodgy bitten nails. You don't want people thinking they're meeting The Wolf Man.
Heard the term 'resting bitch face'? Yes, this applies to men too.
There's been countless researches done into the importance of eye contact and facial expressions in a first impression. So no matter how bad the traffic was on your way in, don't let it show.
Eye contact makes people feel recognised and like they have your attention and a smile shows you're trustworthy and positive. This is a great way to show potential employers that you're approachable and enthusiastic or a date that you're a warm and friendly gentleman.
Posture and Manners
Thirdly, consider your posture and manners. Slumped shoulders are never a good look and imply you simply can't be bothered. Gently pushing your shoulders down and back and standing tall will automatically improve your appearance and exude confidence even if your insides are like a swarm of angry butterflies.
And this is a given, but manners are a must. So hold that door open or wait until the interviewer asks you to take a seat.
So, now you know the general things to consider, onto some more quick specifics:
Arrive On Time – If you arrive at 11:45 when you were due at 11:30, I'm afraid to say there will be no first impression made when you get there. It was already made... fifteen minutes earlier.
The Handshake – we could write a whole post about this (and probably will) but a handshake is one of your most powerful weapons. To avoid almost breaking bones or the dreaded 'dead fish', use a firm but gentle grip. If you're unsure, ask someone close what they think of your handshake.
First Date Greeting - First dates can be hard, especially when it comes to greetings. Our advice, opt for a hug, it's friendly but not too forward or formal. Act like the gent you are and you're bound to get a second date.
The Venue - Where you meet someone can show them a lot about who you are before you even meet. Choose somewhere that suits the situation that isn't too loud or crowded.
For more lifestyle inspiration and styling tips, check back for a new blog post every Wednesday and Sunday and don't forget, when you look good, you feel good and do good.