How to Make the Best First Impressions | Summary and Q&A

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January 17, 2020
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Stanford Graduate School of Business
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How to Make the Best First Impressions

TL;DR

First impressions in an interview are critical, with research showing that 80% of your first impression is based on two traits: strength (capability) and trustworthiness.

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Key Insights

  • 💁 First impressions in interviews are formed within the first 17 seconds and can heavily influence the outcome.
  • 🛀 Research shows that trustworthiness and strength (capability) are the two primary traits that contribute to a person's initial impression.
  • 👨‍🔬 Preparation, including researching the interviewer and company, managing your online presence, and dressing appropriately, is crucial for creating a positive first impression.

Transcript

[MUSIC] Hey, mom. Yeah, I'm pretty nervous for this interview. I spent all weekend knowing my contacts, I'm ready to crush an interview. No, I don't know who I'm interviewing with. I just know her name is Tammie, she's a part of the firm but don't know much else. Sorry, I gotta run and walk into the waiting room now. >> Hi, Brett. >> Hey Tammie. Ho... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How important are first impressions in interviews?

First impressions in interviews are crucial as they shape how the interviewer perceives you throughout the process. Research shows that initial impressions are formed within the first 17 seconds and can strongly impact the outcome of the interview.

Q: What are the two main traits that contribute to the first impression in an interview?

The two main traits that heavily influence the first impression are strength (capability and competence) and trustworthiness. These traits can determine whether the interviewer perceives you as qualified and reliable.

Q: How can you prepare to create a positive first impression in an interview?

Preparation is essential for a positive first impression. This includes researching the interviewer and the company, managing your online presence, and dressing appropriately for the interview. Being well-prepared can help you establish trust and demonstrate your competence.

Q: How can body language affect the initial impression in an interview?

Body language, such as posture and eye contact, plays a significant role in shaping the initial impression. Sitting up straight and maintaining eye contact conveys confidence and portrays you as genuine. On the other hand, slouching or looking away may give the impression that you are not interested or lacking in confidence.

Q: How important are first impressions in interviews?

First impressions in interviews are crucial as they shape how the interviewer perceives you throughout the process. Research shows that initial impressions are formed within the first 17 seconds and can strongly impact the outcome of the interview.

More Insights

  • First impressions in interviews are formed within the first 17 seconds and can heavily influence the outcome.

  • Research shows that trustworthiness and strength (capability) are the two primary traits that contribute to a person's initial impression.

  • Preparation, including researching the interviewer and company, managing your online presence, and dressing appropriately, is crucial for creating a positive first impression.

  • Body language, such as posture and eye contact, can significantly impact the initial impression. Sitting straight and maintaining eye contact conveys confidence and authenticity.

Summary

In this video, the speaker discusses the importance of first impressions in an interview and provides tips on how to make a strong first impression. They emphasize the need for preparation, both in terms of online presence and physical appearance. The speaker also discusses how to navigate the waiting room and offers tips for engaging conversation, confident body posture, and matching the energy level of the interviewer.

Questions & Answers

Q: Why are first impressions critical in an interview?

First impressions are usually formed within the first 17 seconds of meeting someone and they are reinforced over time. Research shows that 80% of a first impression is based on two traits: strength (how capable and competent the person is) and trust (whether they can be trusted). Making a positive first impression can greatly impact the outcome of an interview.

Q: How can one prepare for a strong first impression in an interview?

Preparation plays a key role in setting oneself up for success. One important aspect of preparation is managing online presence, ensuring that one's social media profiles reflect a professional image. Additionally, dressing appropriately and paying attention to details like lighting and camera resolution in virtual interviews can boost confidence and present a polished image.

Q: What are some tips for making a strong first impression in the waiting room?

In the waiting room, it is beneficial to stand up rather than sit, as it conveys more power and confidence. Engaging in small conversations with receptionists or fellow candidates can help project a friendly and sociable nature. Lastly, mastering the meet and greet by maintaining eye contact, using open gestures, and offering a firm handshake can leave a positive impression on the interviewer.

Q: How can engaging conversation with the interviewer be helpful?

Engaging in conversation with the interviewer can help build connections and establish rapport. Prior research on the interviewer, such as their work, education, or hobbies, can serve as talking points to find commonalities and create a more comfortable and memorable interview experience.

Q: What is the significance of body posture in an interview?

Body posture plays a role in conveying confidence, professionalism, and attentiveness. Sitting up straight and maintaining eye contact with the interviewer portrays a confident and engaged attitude. Slouching or crossing legs can convey a more casual or arrogant attitude, which may not be appreciated in an interview setting.

Q: Why is it important to mirror the energy level in the room during an interview?

Mirroring the energy level of the interviewer helps create a more comfortable and natural conversation. It demonstrates adaptability and shows that one can match the interviewer's communication style. This can contribute to a positive impression and a smoother flow of interaction.

Q: How did the speaker's personal experience influence their perspective on first impressions in interviews?

The speaker shared a personal experience where they made some mistakes in their own interview by not taking the process seriously enough. Despite being qualified for the job, they were not selected because of the negative first impression they made. This experience taught them the importance of making a strong first impression and motivated them to provide tips and insights to help others avoid similar pitfalls.

Takeaways

The key takeaways from this video are that first impressions in interviews are critical and usually formed within the first 17 seconds. Preparing ahead of time by managing online presence, dressing appropriately, and paying attention to details can set one up for success. In the waiting room, standing up, making small conversations, and mastering the meet and greet can help establish a positive impression. During the interview, engaging in conversation, maintaining confident body posture, and mirroring the energy level of the room can further enhance the interview experience. Remember, it's important to make a strong first impression as it truly starts before the interview itself.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • First impressions in interviews are formed within the first 17 seconds of meeting someone and can heavily influence the rest of the interview process.

  • Strength (competence) and trustworthiness are the two main factors that contribute to a person's initial impression.

  • Preparation is key to creating a positive first impression, including researching the interviewer and company, managing your online presence, and dressing appropriately.

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