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What are the top five things you look for in a first impression?

Updated on January 30, 2013

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How To Make A Great First Impression

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The first impression can be pivotal in any relationship and can determine whether or not a person goes forward with building upon that first meeting.  First impressions happen very quickly; basically in the time it takes for someone to give a quick once over. First impressions are determined by a person’s dress, appearance, body language and other characteristics. Whether the relationship is simply social or business there are several things to look for in a first impression. The top five things that I look for in a first impression are the personal appearance, the smile, eye contact, body language and personality.  


  1. Personal Appearance – Personal appearance is very important because first impressions are made with a quick glance.  If a person is dressed well and takes care of their appearance this will make for a great first appearance no matter if the situation is personal or professional.
  2. Smile – A smile and/or facial expressions are also very important and can make a great first impression as well. A winning smile can win anyone over; as long as the smile is confident, warm and sincere then it will create a positive response. Smiling can also change the direction of the meeting since they can be quite catching.
  3. Eye Contact – The eyes are very important being able to look into someone’s eyes you can really tell a lot about that person.  I do not try to solely judge someone on their eyes because there is so much more to a person but that being said some eyes are very telling. If a person makes eye contact that can mean that they are very interested in the conversation or in you so keeping good eye contact is extremely important.
  4. Body Language – You can tell a great deal from a person’s body language; whether they are uncomfortable or not at ease.  If the person is fidgety this can create a wrong impression.  So staying calm and being confident can give a great first impression.
  5. Personality – Bringing across a positive personality is a great way to give a great impression.  Being yourself is important but accentuating your positives and eliminating the negatives can make that impression even better.  Being positive, courteous and attentive are keys to creating a great first impression.  Make sure your true self flows through even if the situation is not a comfortable one.


These top five can vary as well depending on whether the situation is personal or professional and there are many other criteria that are important in making a first impression; having good verbal skills, being attentive, being prepared, being positive and being on time are just a few other significant points.

However that being said I do not always rely on a first impression and usually give people more than one chance to “prove” themselves.  I have met people at functions who were less than charming only to find out later that they were sick, or had other things on their minds and had to go to the function even though they did not want.  I have also interviewed some people that did not give great interviews but had a wonderful resume, only to find out later that they were perfect for the position. Anything is possible and therefore the first impression is not always the best impression, but it is important to try and make that first impression memorable in a positive way.  Making a positive first impression is extremely important because first impressions are created in less than a minute, are rarely ever reversible and can last a lifetime.



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    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 6 years ago from West Coast

      Thank you so much Caroline!

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 6 years ago from Castaic

      Great job, Triplet Mom, on this very insightful hub!!! Aside from enjoying reading it, your hub is a great reminder for all of us! You are absolutely right-whether the meeting is personal or business, we should always make the best effort to make a great first impression. It can sometimes "make or break" a personal or business relationship. I would say, if a person is ill or not at the best of health, it is best to postpone the meeting when they're feeling all better. Most people would be understanding of this and if the job gets away from you, then it wasn't meant to be, after all!:-) I'd say be the best you can be every single time!!!:-) Thank you for sharing this wonderful hub of yours. Keep at it. God bless!:-)

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

      izettl - Thank you!

    • izettl profile image

      Lizett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      great hub. I understand the importance of a first impression, but like you, I usually give people another chance.

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 9 years ago from West Coast

      Oh Cris, that is great, I am glad that you don't close the door and give people a chance. I really love hearing about people's first impressions of me. It seems that most have a consensus of what they think of me which is actually the total opposite of the type of person I am. So sometimes no matter how hard we try we might come across a certain way. Thanks for your comments they are always insightful.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      No i don't close my doors on people solely on the basis of my first impressions of them and as quick as I pass my judgment of them I acknowledge my mistakes if i thought wrong. And it's a good thing I'm not vocal with my impressions, so when I'm wrong there is nothing to retract or apologise for and it would seem we're off to a good start, my first impression notwithstanding. Only when a certain bond is formed can I confess and all becomes a laughing matter :D

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 9 years ago from West Coast

      Trsmd - Yes I agree the eyes definitely have it. That is the first thing I look at when I am meeting a person. Eyes say a lot about a person.

      Cris - Thanks! It is good to be somewhat critical, I think that is a way for you to protect yourself but you shouldn't be overly judgmental. It can be a fine line though. I hope that means that you give the people you meet a second chance.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      these tips will come in handy for me, my first impressions of people (including hubbers) I meet tend to be always wrong, and I mean not even close. I tend to be judgmental and judge all too quickly. thanks for sharing :D