Jeff Lipschultz’s Blog

I Think, Therefore I Blog

First Impressions Last?

We all know the value of making a great first impression.  What should you do when you make a BAD first impression?

Read up on how to recover from a bad first impression and the importance of the LAST impression.  The details are in my first article for Job-Hunt, a great online source for job seekers.

After you read the article, I bet you will have stories of your own to share.  Please comment using this blog post. I would love to read them.


April 20, 2009 - Posted by | Interviewing 101, Job Search, article, Video


  1. I kind of like the challenge of a bad first impression. Some people call that crazy, but then again, they think it is silly that I wear my shoes on the opposite foot, too.

    Comment by Mark Aaron Murnahan | April 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. Jeff, well done! I like looking at the First Impression from the inside out.

    Comment by David Graziano | April 21, 2009 | Reply

  3. Very good article Jeff. I like how you used your own personal example. It really helps to make the advice real if you can relate to the type of situation your are discussing.

    Comment by Gil Vander Voort | April 21, 2009 | Reply

  4. Great points, Jeff. Also important? Your first written impressions. We regularly make judgments about people’s educations and abilities when we see errors in emails, presentations, etc. Always recheck your writing, and if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask. I’ve been a marketing writer for over a decade, and I can tell you that even CEOs have difficulty. That’s why I get paid. Don’t ignore the power of the written word – and look for expert assistance when you need it!

    Comment by Sarah Close | April 21, 2009 | Reply

  5. That’s scary that you had those clothes in your wardrobe! Oh, I digress. Good solid article with some great tips. I agree that the last impression before you leave is a great way to recover from a negative first impression. Everyone makes mistakes and being natural instead of allowing your mind to focus on the negative and getting off track is the way to show that you’re smooth under pressure. I think we often over-analyze our job interviews too much and focus on what we should have done instead of focusing on what we did right.

    Comment by Jeff Hurt | April 21, 2009 | Reply

  6. Excellent, Jeff. Great video – stripes become you! 🙂

    That said, I agree with everything you’ve said with regard to face-to-face interviews. But how about situations where you may not get a second chance to make an impression, e.g. social media? Offensive avatars, user names, links, etc., can cause people to make a determination about you quickly and/or even block you.

    Is there any “undo” in this case? Your thoughts?

    Jenifer @jenajean

    Comment by Jenifer Olson | April 21, 2009 | Reply

  7. So true. Everyone gets an initial impression of someone when they first meet them. Even if it is a good one – often it is not accurate. Sometimes people who are good at interviewing make terrible employees. First impressions should be just that – only the first of several snapshots in which you learn about someone. So important to never totally judge a book by its cover. You can definitely work your way out of a first impression – but of course not all of us can sing like Susan Boyle on Britain’s got talent.

    Comment by Marlowe Bechmann | April 21, 2009 | Reply

  8. Thanks for the laugh! On a more serious note, this situation is exactly when a great recruiter’s experience is needed. If one is presented by a recruiter and the initial interview was an “off day” (we all have them, that’s why we are called human) a search professional’s expertise is of the most value. An off day or unpleasant first impression experience isn’t limited to a candidate interviewing. Employers, on first meeting, can be a turn off to a “perfect fit” candidate.

    Comment by Suzanne Levison | April 21, 2009 | Reply

  9. Great article! I think Sarah brings up a good point about the first “written” impression as well. I would love to hear your thoughts or advice to candidates on how to prepare for the “phone screen” since this is typically how and when a first impression is made. I have passed on many candidates with stellar resumes that lacked the ability to communicate on the telephone and I am sorry to say they did not get a 2nd chance to make a better impression. In fact I am not sure they even thought of the phone screen as the first impression.
    BTW – loved the Susan Boyle reference.

    Comment by Gretchen | April 21, 2009 | Reply

  10. Jeff, glad to see your content on other sites. For phone calls such as an interview I always stand. First your voice is stronger and you come across confident. More importantly you can breath better which leads to vocal variety.

    I also have a personal story as well. I had a series of interviews with some managers and recognized that one of them wasn’t going as well as I had planned. I kept trying to refocus on the skill sets I offered, but he struggled to look past what he wanted. Since my final piece was a formal 20 minute presentation I knew I had to WOW them. I turned on the charm and knew the content like the back of my hand. I did get the job and beat out someone with more experience in the industry.

    Mike D. Merrill

    Comment by mikedmerrill | April 22, 2009 | Reply

  11. Great article, Jeff.

    Confidence and preparation are key because they will help you either avoid or overcome those first impression mishaps that can happen to anyone. I would add to your list of standards to make sure you are qualified for the role you are applying/interviewing for — do your research about the job, company, even the interviewer — come prepared with examples demonstrating not only why you are qualified but how you’ll add value. If you do that – you too can sing like Susan Boyle…

    We recruiters and hiring managers can also learn something from your article and for that matter from Susan Boyle as well – you have scheduled the time, so regardless of first impression, let your candidate sing. Make a decision on content, not impression.

    Comment by Chris Havrilla | April 23, 2009 | Reply

  12. Jeff,
    Great article. You touched briefly on what I think is the most important part of any interview, research. Get all the information you possibly can about the company, the interviewer and the position well before you set in the door. Having that kind of knowledge will help you recover smoothly from any minor gaffs you might make during the interview itself. Second most important part of the interview- make sure you treat the “gatekeeper” with politeness and respect. I’ve always wondered how many prime candidates have shot themselves in the foot by not doing this.

    Comment by Fred Cannon | April 23, 2009 | Reply

  13. I really like the multi-media approach to your post! As far as the post itself, I think if a candidate recovers well from a weak moment or faux pax (depending how grave it is of course) it will be seen as a strength. Awkward moments occur in all business settings and grace combined with confidence is a skill set all in its own.

    Comment by Karla Porter | April 25, 2009 | Reply

  14. […] First Impressions Last? […]

    Pingback by Interviewing is Easy…if Done Right! « Jeff Lipschultz’s Blog | August 4, 2009 | Reply

  15. […] First Impressions Last? « Jeff Lipschultz’s Blog : 4/20/2009 · First Impressions Last? We all know the value of making a great first impression. … lacked the ability to communicate on the telephone … […]

    Pingback by Making Great First and Last Impressions On the telephone | Free 101 Articles | April 24, 2012 | Reply

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