NEW YORK — You better have your introduction down to a speedy art on that next blind date or job interview. A recent survey finds you only have about 27 seconds to make a good first impression on someone new.
In fact, the survey of 2,000 Americans revealed that seven out of ten people say they decide how they feel about new people before the person even says a word. The study, commissioned by Dollar Shave Club, sought to find out what assumptions we make when meeting someone new, why we make those assumptions, and how fast it takes us to judge a new book by its cover.
Researchers found that in order to leave positive first impressions, smiling, being polite, smelling nice, being a good listener, and making eye contact are most important. Conversely, smelling bad, acting arrogantly, and dressing poorly were the top ways to leave a bad impression.
A person’s scent was found to be extremely memorable. The overwhelming majority of respondents (85 percent) said they’ll have a more favorable opinion of someone if they don’t have body odor. Yet interestingly, only 68 percent say they actually put a lot of thought into how they smell before going on a date.
Speaking of dating, three in five respondents said they make first impression judgments on dates much faster on average than they would in other social situations. What’s more, the average respondent believes that they know just 15 minutes into a first date whether they want to go on a second date and 20 minutes in whether or not they want to go home with someone. Similarly, researchers found the average person claims they’d end a date after 16 minutes if it was going poorly.
But first impressions don’t just happen upon first meeting. Two-thirds of respondents believe it’s a good idea to Google your date before you actually spend time with them.
Whether it’s a date or simply meeting friends of friends, confidence is especially important when it comes to first impressions. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed say they’re more likely to feel positively about a person who seems confident in themselves.
As for other contributions to making a good impression, the survey found that one’s ability to hold a good conversation, along with their body language, tone of voice, and fashion sense all play a role in how you will be judged — of course, in just 27 seconds.