Is First Impression the Last Impression?

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MBA Admission Process includes Group Discussion (GD), Extempore, Interview and other Group Exercise. During this process, particularly during the Group Discussion (GD) Round, a topic is given to students to discuss. Read this article to understand one such important topic -- First Impression is the last impression. By reading this article now, you will be better prepared for your MBA admission and job interviews. 

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A good first impression can work wonders
J. K. Rowling, Author of Harry Potter series of books


What is First Impression?
In a fast-paced world, where time is scarce, we all tend to find short cuts to living a busy life. “First Impression” is one such ways in which we create an initial opinion and then live by it.


The statement "First Impression is the last impression" suggests that the initial impression someone has of you will be the lasting impression they have of you, and that it will not change over time.


First impressions are based on a wide range of characteristics: age, race, culture, language, gender, physical appearance, accent, posture, voice, number of people present, economic status, and time allowed to process.


Substantial scientific research has affirmed the importance of first impressions while exploring a variety of factors that contribute to their formation. For example, a 2009 study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that factors ranging from clothing style to posture play a role in how impressions are formed. Another study, in the April 2011 issue of Social Influence, found that a limp handshake can make you appear overly passive.


While it is true that first impressions are important, it is not necessarily true that they are the "last impression." People are complex and multidimensional, and their opinions and perceptions can change over time as they get to know someone better. It's also important to recognize that first impressions are not always accurate. People may form opinions based on limited information or biases, which can lead to misunderstandings and misjudgments. In this article we will understand more about this topic, and also learn how to improve our personality.  

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Why are First Impressions Important?
So why should we care about making a positive first impression? An example will make it clear. Raj is a talented and qualified person. Yet he failed to get job even after appearing for many interviews. He discussed his problem with his uncle, Kumar, who made him understand that his problem was perhaps not about skills or knowledge, but his failure to make a good initial impression.


If the first impression is not good, it can be a big stumbling block. A positive first impression, on the other hand, can help forge long-term associations.


When you meet people professionally, you are usually judged on the basis of how you behave, what you wear, how you communicate, your body language, and self-projection. So, first impressions are really important.


How to Create a Good First Impression?
After understanding that first impression is important, next question you may ask is - How to Create a Good First Impression? Understand this can help you do well in MBA GD and MBA Interviews, during your MBA program and even while you look for a job. Let’s take a few things that you must focus on to create a good impression:


1. Know your Content
When you sit in an interview or sit in a GD, you must be well-prepared. Walking into a meeting without any planning is likely to end poorly. Know the fact, review your points, gather your facts and acquaint yourself about the person you are going to meet. If you know your subject, it will be easier to make a good impression.


2. Positive Body Language
Having a positive body language is very important. You should not appear hassled, tired, or disinterested. At the same time, you need to guard against over-confidence or arrogance. Slouching in your seat, avoiding eye contact, fidgeting with objects, drooping shoulders are some of the signs that indicate you are disinterested or not focused enough. Remember that the first impression is the last impression and it needs to be a good impression.


Walk in confidently with your head held high. Be polite yet clearly audible. Maintain a positive outlook and smile. High-ranking executives, coaches, celebrities, and political leaders often practice for public appearances. Earlier, people rehearsed in front of mirrors. Today, you have video cameras. 

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3. Navigate Conversation to Your Strengths
The first impression is the last impression and you should do everything that you can to ensure that your first impression is the best impression. Hence, try and keep the discussion that are focussed around your strengths and achievements. You can talk about your personal, academic and non-academic achievements. Be humble but do talk about yourself and your achievements positively.


4. Be a Good Listener
Listening is a very important but less understand area to create a good positive impression. Pay attention when others speak. Make eye contact, nod and don't interrupt or finish others' sentences. However, don’t be shy to offer your comments after the other person has spoken. Generally, people love to talk about themselves, so you may find that you can create a good impression by simply asking insightful questions about others.


5. Dress Appropriately
This is a simple but important tip to create a positive impression. What you wear to interviews and social gatherings can be as important as what you speak and how you behave. For interviews and meetings, wear formal clothes that are clean and smart looking. The colors you wear should not be too strong or dominating. You should also avoid wearing anything very flashy, or too casual. While business suits are usually a safe bet. You can also choose your clothes and accessories according to the climate and culture of the location. In short, you should dress up as someone confident, comfortable, and smart.


In conclusion, we can say that First impressions are Important. In fact, they have so much impact that people say that the first impression is the last impression. So, MBA students and aspirants, you must learn how to create a positive first impression by using tips given above. Dream big and stay motivated…! 

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