The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
First impressions can have a lasting impact on people. When it comes to any type of social encounter, from job interviews to business meetings and networking events, leaving a good first impression will most definitely help you to excel. Exhibiting positive body language, like greeting someone with a firm handshake and maintaining eye contact, as well as ensuring your physical appearance is up to scratch, are key points to consider if you want to make a good first impression.
To find out exactly how first impressions are formed, what are the common types of body language and what do they mean, and what type of information people remember the most – oral or visual – check out our infographic below. It will provide you with interesting facts and figures around the area of first impressions and body language and importantly, help you to become a master of first impressions for job interviews or any other type of important first-time social encounters. Make a good first impression and leave an impact with our insightful infographic.
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The Power of First Impressions
First impressions are crucial. From what you wear to what gestures you make, be assured, that people will take note. In fact, studies have found that non-verbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say.
Quick States on First Impressions
First impressions are formed within 7 to 17 seconds of meeting someone.
During face-to-face meetings, 93% of people’s judgments of others are based on non-verbal input like body language.
In a survey of 2,000 managers, 33% claimed to know whether or not they would hire someone within 90 seconds.
In a study, researchers identified 5,000 distinct hand gestures in humans.
38% of a person’s first impression is determined by tone of voice.
What Information Do People Remember?
80% Oral & Visual
How Are First Impressions Formed?
The way you dress, act, and walk through the door. – 55%
The words you choose to say. – 7%
The quality of your voice, grammar, and confidence. – 38%
Types of Body Language and What They Mean
Positive / Open Body Language
Arched eyebrows – When we raise our eyebrows, it means we are contemplating what we’re listening to and that we’re mildly intrigued.
Direct eye contact – Means we’re interested, and that we’re focused on you.
Arms akimbo – Planting your hands with your thumbs backwards on your hips and elbows out in a “V” shape displays dominance and authority.
Mirroring – Mirroring someone’s body language means they’re interested in you and trying to build rapport.
Feet facing directly to the other person – It shows that we’re focused on the other person.
Negative / Closed Body Language
Squinting – When people see what they don’t like, feel threatened, or are unhappy, they squint their eyes.
Lowered head – Means you’re ashamed of something, shy, or have something to hide.
Blinking too much – Means we’re nervous or anxious.
Arms closed – Reserved, uncomfortable, or defensive.
Shaking your legs – Means you’re anxious, scared, or impatient.
Common Non-Verbal Mistakes Made During an Interview
*From a survey of 2,000 bosses (Courtesy of Classes and Careers)
26% Have a weak handshake
21% Play with their hair or touch their face
67% Fail to make eye contact
38% Don’t smile
21% Close their arms over their chest
33% Fidget too much
33% Have bad posture
9% Use too many hand gestures
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