Creating a first impression: is it what you say or how you act?

Recruiters and employers constantly speak of the necessity of creating a positive first impression, and to use the cliche, they do indeed last. But what makes a first impression, is it your words or your actions, how you speak or how you appear? David Keane, a corporate psychologist with Davitt Corporate Partners, a Dublin-based consultancy, created the infographic below to synopsise the data gathered from over 2000 business leaders as to how they gauge an interview candidate and what you should or should not do during the interview process. Some of the results are surprising.

  • For example, according to this data, first impressions are made within 7-17 seconds of meeting someone. So, if you don’t make a good first impression, are you on the back-foot in an interview before it has even begun
  • 93% of people’s judgements are not based on what you say but how you act and what your body language says about you. So, while you may have hidden depths and skills that could be of enormous benefit to the company, if you don’t make a confident impression initially, you’ll never get the chance to show them.
  • 33% of the managers interviewed for this data said that they had made a decision as to whether they would hire a person within 90 seconds of meeting them.
  • 55% of first impressions were formed by the way a person walked through the door, what their demeanour was like and how they dressed, with 38% saying they formed an impression based on the person’s tone of voice.

There’s plenty more information, have a look for yourself:



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