The Impression Equation

By: Trevor Wilson, Founder of

It’s been said that in an interview, the employer will make up his mind within the first five minutes as to whether to hire you. If you have ever read Blink (which is a great book by Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point), you probably even have less time to make a great first impression.

This is where the Impression Equation comes in.

What is the Impression Equation? It is the formula that you need to follow for making a good first impression. It goes as follows:

Impression = Appearance + Attitude

In other words, the impression that you make on the employer will be your general appearance plus your attitude in the first five minutes. To break it down even further:

* Appearance: This doesn’t mean that you have to be naturally beautiful or handsome. It only means that you have to make an effort to look your best. Things such as professional attire, trimmed nails, and maintained hair are what count. You have to let your appearance show how much you want to the job, without trying to “give the wrong impression”, so to speak.

* Attitude: This is not what you say, this is how you act. Do you portray confidence? Do you smile? Do you make eye contact? Do you speak clearly? Do you gesture appropriately? All of these things make up how your attitude will be perceived by the employer.

Without either of these elements, you cannot make a good impression. So beyond just preparing for what you will say in the interview, make sure you address how you look and how you act. It will make an enormous difference in whether you land the job.

Trevor Wilson is an author and consultant who works with new graduates preparing to enter the work force. His site,, provides daily advice on job hunting, networking, and resume writing tailored to the Entry Level Job seeker. His first book, Overcoming Gradversity: How to Break Into the Entry Level Job Market, was published in 2008.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.


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