You’ve heard the saying “a first impression is a lasting impression?”
That’s absolutely true. In the field of mental technology it’s found that we form a first impression on a person, place or thing in the first 2-5 seconds. By 30 seconds we have solidified that thought. It becomes dominate as the first impression. Research shows that if you make a bad first impression, which happens accidentally all the time, it takes between 20-50 additional positive impressions just to make up for the one, 2-5 second, negative, first impression.
In fact it’s almost impossible if you’re on a job interview. Can you imagine saying “wait give me 20-50 more times because I know that I’m right for this position.” We make very quick decisions. To reverse that negative impression, and show them the real heart of who you are, is very difficult.
So how do we fix it?
Knowing it takes 20-50 more positive impressions to over-ride one negative, the correction has to be something dramatic enough to cause a permanent change. In the brain we have something called a synapse, which is an electrical chemical process. To cause that synapse there must be something dynamic and absolutely emotional, to connect the change in a person’s mind to the positive from the negative first impression.
The real solution however, is “Preparation and Mental Rehearsal.” Visualize and picture exactly how you want the interview to go, exactly how you want to come across. Picture it in your mind, over and over again, until you are comfortable. It is important to be aware of how you look, speak and act in every interaction especially now that you know how important and lasting first impressions are.
In a business setting, receptionists and administrative assistants are often the first point of contact with a customer. That interaction sets the first impression for the company or manager they represent. These individuals should think of themselves as the “Director of First Impressions” and operate with that mindset on a daily basis.