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5 Tips for Creating a Positive & Memorable First Impression

“You only have one chance to make a first impression.” Yet, unfavorable first impressions happen every day, sometimes even with some preparation.

But whether it’s a job interview, meeting or some other occasion, we’re going to cover 5 basic tips to improve your first impression.


  • Be punctual.


Few things annoy a person more than someone who is late. Interviewers in particular are unforgiving, even if you have a good reason. They very often practice confirmation bias. They have an opinion of you before you walk in the door. Then if you do something that matches their preconceived notions, then they’ve confirmed their bias.

So if you’re late, even for good reason, they affirm that you are someone who is always late. Try to stay two steps ahead of the game by being on time.


  • Observe customs of dress & grooming.


If you were traveling to another country, presenting yourself may not be as simple as wearing a suit. In some cultures, a suit would be intimidating – not a good first impression at all. Find out what would be appropriate for the upcoming meeting in the country you’ll be traveling to.

Be who you really are.

Fitting in is one thing, but trying to disguise your real self is universally detectable. No matter where you go in this world, nobody likes a phony. It will whittle at your confidence anyway, but that’s not all.

Expensive accessories have their place, if you’re meeting someone of high profile. Otherwise, if they’re not you, then it’s wise not to wear them.

If they discover that you’re pretending to be someone else, they get the perception that there are some trust issues with you. And really, isn’t that part of what you want to accomplish when you meet this person?

Show them pearly whites!

When you smile, it’s contagious. Everyone else seems to pick up on that, and you’ve won them over. However, don’t go on a “smiling marathon.” You want to exude confidence, but overdoing it could turn you into a phony (See #3). Just be natural with your smiles.

Combat nervousness.

We all get nervous to some degree when a first-time meeting is involved. But you need to be aware of any of your nervous habits before the meeting takes place. For example, if you tap your hand or your foot when you get nervous, then you would do well to put some relaxation techniques to work. Deep breathing exercises can do wonders to calm you down.

There are several other things you can do to make a first impression. We picked these five because we have found them to have the biggest positive impact on the subject. So remember…

  • Be on time
  • Observe dress & grooming customs
  • Be yourself
  • Smile
  • Combat nervousness

If you put any one or all of these five tips to work, along with others not listed here, you will be sure to improve your first impressions, whomever you meet, and wherever you go.


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