Picture this, you are preparing for a job interview, or for the first day at a new school. You pay special attention to how your hair looks, what you’re wearing, how you do your makeup that morning. You check and double-check these things to make sure your appearance is the best it can be. Why do you do this? You do this because you want to make a good first impression.
First impressions are so important because there is never a way to make a second first impression. This is because studies have shown, “that all it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions,” (Wargo, 2006). Yes, most times a person is judged based on their facial features. Whether a person has a “mature” face or a “baby-face,” if they look trustworthy, or likable, and these impressions are the most powerful in judicial matters or in an election. And more often than not prolonged exposure to a person does not change these judgments especially if there is no verbal exchange between two people.
Of course, there are other factors that determine the first impression. Most are visual, facial features, body language, and overall appearance. Others include verbal exchanges, for example, in a job interview, if the person speaks to their potential boss with respect or with informal language. Or what kind of vocabulary a person uses and if they use it correctly. While these factors aren’t as important as a person’s facial features.
Overall you don’t have much control over a person’s first impression of you, however, you do have control over how you change an inaccurate first impression. This is not to say that you shouldn’t look your best, instead, you should try that much harder to have an appearance that will influence a favorable first impression.