If you do this in the first minute of meeting someone, they won’t trust you
• Eye contact fosters trust, according to a new survey.
• Creativity is often pegged to people with tattoos.
• Having a loose handshake can be a sign of mistrust.
First impressions can be a deal breaker in any job interview, but now we know what people are paying attention to when they meet you for the first time.
A new survey has revealed the what makes the biggest impression on someone you’re meeting someone for the first time, both positive and negative.
The research, conducted by the British contact lens company Lenstore, shows how big a deal first impressions are in helping us decide whom to trust at work.
It’s more important to be seen as trustworthy than skillful or competent in a first meeting, according to a Harvard social psychologist. But in the era of Zoom meetings, trustworthiness is falling by the wayside as people find it challenging to maintain eye contact over digital conferences. Eye contact is one of the three leading ways we decide whether someone is trustworthy, according to the British survey.
One out of five participants said eye contact is a key indicator of trustworthiness, followed by smiling often and maintaining good posture. Others also said having smart clothes and being clean-shaven indicated a trustworthy person.
These were the leading factors in deciding someone’s trustworthy at first sight:
- Eye contact (20%)
- Smiles a lot (15%)
- Good posture (14%)
On the other hand, when someone avoids eye contact, we assume they’re untrustworthy.
Survey subjects saw these factors as the main reasons in finding someone untrustworthy at first:
- Avoids eye contact (23%)
- Doesn’t smile (13%)
- Bad odor (12%)
Additionally, people who don’t smile or smell bad were also seen as untrustworthy. Loose handshakes and poor posture were reasons to mistrust strangers for one in 10 people.
Have any tattoos? People will think you’re more creative than you may be.
Twelve percent of respondents said they associate people they meet for the first time with tattoos as being creative. Others said that it’s the way in which we dress: Casual clothes usually mean someone is creative (12%), while smiling often can be another indicator (11%).
Somewhat fewer said that wearing glasses are the look of a creative type, while piercings are another feature of a creative type.
- Tattoos (12%)
- Casual clothes (12%)
- Smiles a lot (11%)
It’s all about eye contact, baby.
More than a quarter of respondents said eye contact is a top factor for determining if someone is confident upon first meeting them. They also valued good posture and smiling often. Other signs of confidence included being clean-shaven or smelling of perfume or aftershave.
- Eye contact (27%)
- Good posture (26%)
- Smiles a lot (23%)
In the office, respondents said that appearance, hygiene, and job title were the three factors that they notice first when meeting someone for the first time. The survey interviewed 1,000 people in the U.K.