THE SCIENCE OF FIRST IMPRESSIONS by Dan Cantero

I’m sure you’ve heard this line “You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression”.  Well, it now seems that we have some proof that this is actually true.  A Princeton University study by psychologist Alex Todorov and co-author of the study Janine Willis found that the your initial impression is made very early on. The study consisted of about 200 people being shown images of 66 faces for different durations.  The durations where 100 milliseconds, 500 milliseconds and a full second.  After being shown the images the observers were asked to rate if they thought the faces looked trustworthy or not.  They were also asked how confident they were about their rating.  The experiment also included other ratings like likeability and competence.  

 

The results of the experiment found that not only did the people not change their minds but as they were asked to look at the images for a longer period it actually reinforced their initial rating.  It has been suggested in other studies that this is due to your brain trying to reinforce that it is in fact correct.

 

This is even more important in today’s life because very often your first impression to someone else occurs digitally.  That is, someone sees a photo of you on social media, resume, email, or other medium and instantly forms an opinion of you.  This becomes even more important when there is something riding on you making a good impression.  A job interview is a good example of this.  This image is representing you when you are not there and if it’s going to be your first attempt to get through the door you better make sure it’s a good one. 

 

We regularly see people that use a selfie to represent themselves online.  When going head to head with another candidate that has a professional photo on their site…..  you’ve probably already lost.  We recommend having a professional photo taken that not only captures you at your best but is also in the style that matches your requirements.  A professional head shot is not easy to get right.  We normally spend around 30-45 minutes with each individual working and coaching them on pose, expression, hair & make, wardrobe and much more.

 

You’ve spent so much money on that new suit for you interview so why not invest a fraction of that to go in with a hidden advantage?


Want to learn more about the study. Check it out here.

https://www.princeton.edu/news/2006/08/22/snap-judgments-decide-faces-character-psychologist-finds