No Second Chances For That First Impression

It’s that time of year.

Schools out, exam results are imminent, graduations have happened and now all our students  have to worry about are  the dreaded words,

‘Have you found a job yet?’

And it’s worse than ever right now with the whole world in a financial  pickle and too many applicants for too few posts.

Interviews are rare it seems, with many applications for jobs rejected at the first hurdle.  But if you’re fortunate enough to hit the jackpot and achieve an interview, the next problem is,

‘What shall I wear?’

When I was a teacher I did a survey amongst my class of Year Sixes (eleven year olds).

I asked them to tell me –

‘What makes a good teacher?’

One question was about ‘First Impressions.’

I asked them if it would matter what a new teacher wore on his/her first day with the class.

The result surprised me.

They all agreed, without exception, that they would judge a teacher by his/her appearance..

The first impression is important, they said.

One boy said,

‘Before he even opens his mouth I can tell what sort of teacher he’s going to be.’



So if he turned up at school looking like this, he might not be taken seriously…

All joking aside, the bottom line is –

it is important to think about the first impression we make on people. It certainly will play a large part in helping /not helping someone to succeed in a job  interview (unless, in the above case, it’s for a job in a circus…)

We may not want to believe it, but I feel it’s true.

Perhaps we dress eccentrically, have developed our particular style, have lots of piercings, obvious tattoos, but sadly, this first impression will influence the person interviewing you, even if they’re not totally aware of it.

I would be sure to do a double take if I went to see my GP and he was wearing stained clothes, had neglected hair and smelled unpleasant.

Would I put my faith in this man?

I know I should, but would I?


Here are some things to think about…

  • Do you agree that ‘first impressions’ matter?
  • Is your opinion of someone influenced  by what they wear?
  • If you were interviewing someone for a post, would appearance count? Why? Why not?
  • Do you think it’s time to ditch outdated thinking about ‘first impressions’?
  • Have you ever wished you’d taken more care when you bumped into someone unexpectedly and you look a mess?
  • What factors would matter to you when meeting a prospective employee, apart from qualifications?

It is said,

‘You don’t get a second chance to make a ‘first impression.’

Your comments, please!



Filed under adjust, anxious, expectation, failure, goals, hope, plans, positive, progress, realistic, risk, safe, success

2 responses to “No Second Chances For That First Impression

  1. Christine

    Yep, on many occasions I’ve just nipped out only to bump slap, bang into someone and wished I’d made more of an effort. I would love to be the sort of person who puts some lippy on to push the bin out to the pavement but I’m not!

    Interview first impressions are a nightmare – never felt I got it just right…

    As for the doctor scenario, I might change my mind if I liked his patient-doctor manner and if the advice he gave me was reassuring…after all, he’s human too! What’s in the heart is all that really matters…

  2. It happened to me in Sainsbury’s this week. I bumped into my old boss – at least I’d washed my hair and put some lipstick and perfume on… don’t know if he noticed… but I was so pleased to see him again!

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