First impressions aren’t necessarily accurate, but they leave an imprint, so be ready to make eye contact, be sincere and use open, positive body language, writes BetterUp executive Shonna Waters, who offers nine such tips. If you make a bad first impression, you can recover, but you’ll need the self-awareness to recognize your error and the discipline to consistently show up better, Waters writes.



Did you know that a single glance at a person’s face is enough to form a first impression? Research shows that it takes between just 33–100 milliseconds for someone to form judgments about your character.

Such a short amount of time is clearly not enough to accurately gauge a person’s character. But it’s only natural for us to make assumptions about someone when we first meet them.We also get attached to our initial impressions of others and find it difficult to change our opinion. Even when presented with contrasting evidence.

As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a great first impression.Read on to learn why first impressions are so powerful and how to make a good first impression that will last.


What are first impressions?

First impressions are the almost-instant conclusions we draw when meeting someone for the first time. We form this opinion by quickly taking in information about a person, including their face, dress, posture, and tone of voice.

We form a not-always-accurate opinion about many of a person’s qualities when we first meet them. Some of the qualities we try to gauge include a person’s friendliness, honesty, trustworthiness, and competence.A first impression becomes a filter that we use for all future interactions with that person. It can be very difficult to change someone’s first impression of us.