When we meet someone for the first time, we are quick to form impressions of them, to make judgments. It only takes a moment or two before we have formed some opinion about the person based on their appearance and body language. Hiring managers and supervisors are no exception.
It is a natural reaction. So, if you are a job candidate or someone concerned about career advancement, here are a few things to be aware of regarding first impressions.
1. Tailor made
In one study, people made quick judgments about how successful a person is by the cut of his suit. Men with tailor made suits were judged to be more successful than those who simply wore off-the-rack clothing. People made that judgment in five seconds.
People also had a more favorable opinion of men dressed in business attire as opposed to those dressed more casually.
2. Eye contact
Studies have shown that people who make direct eye contact are perceived to be more intelligent. Other images that project intelligence are wearing glasses and speaking forcefully. Knowing this may help you at work to project an aura of intellect.
3. Designer clothes
Other research has revealed that people who wear designer clothes are perceived to be higher on the socioeconomic ladder than others. People who wore brand name clothing were looked at as more affluent. The research also showed that those wearing designer clothing also received preferential treatment from others.
4. Baldness has benefits
Another study showed that men with shaved heads are perceived as more dominant than men who had a full head of hair. So, being bald does have its benefits.
5. Body language
People make judgments about you by the way you move and walk. Researchers found that those who had a more loose, relaxed walk were perceived as more outgoing and adventurous. Those who had a shorter, more staccato walk were looked at as anxious and high strung. And again, it only took a few steps for people to form these impressions.
It is important to remember that you are being judged on how you move, especially if you are walking into a business meeting.
A British study showed that women with tattoos were perceived to be more promiscuous than those without. It is possible this perception may not be so pronounced in the United States, where body art is much more common.
What is important to keep in mind is that first impressions do count, and could even have an effect on your career, so it is important to pay attention to the initial impression you make.