We all speak of the centrality of making a good, indeed proper, first impression. But what makes a good first impression? Is it your brand new suit? Or is it the words, actions, tones and expressions you use during an interview? David Keane, a corporate psychologist with Davitt Corporate Partner, has provided insight into these important questions. Keane has created an infographic, compiled from the responses from over 2,000 ‘bosses’, in order to better comprehend how interviewers gauge those they interview and to understand what exactly are positive and negative interactions during an interview process. These first impressions, as Keane’s infographic notes, are largely based upon non-verbal cues (which have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say). Some of the results are truly startling:
- First impressions are formed within 7 to 17 seconds of meeting someone.
- 93% of people’s judgments of others are based on non-verbal input like body language.
- 38% of a person’s first impression is determined by tone of voice.
Keane provides a number of body language tips and insights in his piece to help you bag your dream job. For interviews, Keane recommends mirroring body language to help build rapport, arched eyebrows to exhibit intrigue, direct eye contact to indicate focus, arms akimbo to display authority and feet facing directly at the interviewer to show that you’re focused solely upon them. Non-verbal mistakes and closed body language in interviews can adversely affect your chances of success. Ace your next interview and keep those signals positive by refraining from: squinting, blinking too much, crossing your arms, shaking your legs, playing with your hair, frowning, poor posture, fidgeting, using too many hand gestures and limp handshakes. To get another view on first impressions we asked Katie Pilgrim, CPM’s recruitment manager: