The Science Behind Forming the Best First Impression

Are you ever left wondering why your interviews don’t end with a job offer? Or why you can’t seem to stick with one company? Are you finding yourself simply unhappy at all your jobs?

Many of the successes and failures that we experience in the career world are heavily influenced by the relationships we develop with our colleagues and superiors, and much of the success of those relationships is heavily dependent on the first impressions you make. In fact, studies show that people make judgments about you in the first tenth of a second of meeting you, which makes a good first impression all the more critical to your career success.

first impression

The people at Hims dug into some research around first impressions and compiled it into an infographic about the basics of forming a first impression:

The science behind first impression

Want to learn more? Here are some science-backed tips for leaving the best first impression in order to form beneficial relationships and have an overall positive experience at your company.

Healthy, professionally-styled hair can give others insight to your self-confidence. Thick, healthy hair can not only tell others that you’re self-confident, but when styled appropriately and professionally, it can also exude leadership and professionalism in the workplace. Actually, this is especially true with men. Studies show that a side part gives them the best chances of career advancement, while 60% of men found success landing a job sporting hair short on the sides and longer on top. Others view hair as a direct link to your self-confidence, so don’t let any insecurities like a botched haircut, a bad hair day, or even male pattern baldness get in the way of the confidence others see when they first meet you. Seek the necessary treatments or try a new style to ensure your hair looks put-together and helps you feel good about yourself in the office. Sophistication and professionalism can go a long way in forming the right relationships to gain access to ample opportunities.

Studies reflect that your eyes can encourage a better first impression as well. While it might be fairly obvious that eye contact is a critical aspect of communication, it still proves difficult to hold and maintain when it comes to meeting new people, especially with colleagues and superiors. Eye contact can not only speak to your confidence but also tell others that you’re engaged and interested in what they have to say. It’s important to keep your brow relaxed, too, to avoid coming across as untrustworthy, according to experts. Relaxed brows and an acceptable amount of eye contact can make your first impressions more welcoming, and in turn, establish better relationships and more opportunities.


Don’t forget to smile. Did you know that 48% of people consider their smile their most memorable feature? Perhaps this isn’t all that shocking. In situations with new people, particularly in a corporate setting, nerves can most definitely take over, interrupting your ability to relax, loosen up, and smile, which is why it’s important to make a conscious effort to introduce yourself with a warm smile upon meeting new peers. Keep in mind, also, that surveys have shown that people with teeth in poor health or condition are seen as less confident than those with good dental health, which can seriously impact the first impression you make on others. At your next interview or meeting with a new face, remember a smile can go a long way in how they perceive you at the end of the day.

So, now what? Keep these tips in mind when introducing yourself to new bosses, other colleagues, or even a complete stranger. There are so many small features that can prevent a great first impression, so it’s important to look confident, clean, sophisticated, and healthy in order to foster better relationships at work. Creating good impressions from the first tenth of a second can help you gain access to opportunities like recognitions and even promotions, so do what you can to make sure others are remembering you in a positive light.