How To Fix a Bad First Impression (With Tips and Strategies)

How to fix a bad first impression
  1. Take the opportunity to gain perspective. One thing that can help people learn from their negative experiences is understanding how common they are. …
  2. Assess the situation. …
  3. Seek out opportunities for more interactions. …
  4. Address the situation. …
  5. Get feedback.

Simran Singh* recently left the cushy position that was ideal for her and joined a company that specializes in digital marketing. She was excited and worried, but also felt like a headless chicken. She arrived at her first Zoom meeting with perspiration on her hands and a 1000 watt smile. That’s when everything went south. For some reason, Shah says, the vibe was just off. She froze for what seemed like hours when her new boss asked her a straightforward question before mumbling some incoherent response that did nothing to demonstrate her skill set. She was meeting her boss for the first time, and she didn’t have a good first impression.

Leisanne Pinto, a recruiter and HR expert, says it’s crucial to give people time and space in the workplace so they can let their work speak for them. The most crucial thing is to avoid altering your own behavior based on a first impression, which is frequently biased. I’ve seen many impressions change over time. ”.

Before your work can speak for itself, Mansi Shah, a former managing editor of a media company, advises, “There are other indicators — punctuality, turning up at work, being supportive — that you really want the job.” A bad first impression and a warning sign would be if the laziness began at an early stage. ”.

How to Overcome a Bad First Impression

How to fix a bad first impression

It’s important to keep in mind that it takes more than one meeting to get to know someone’s true qualities, even though first impressions might influence future interactions. You will likely have other opportunities to correct any misunderstandings. Accepting the meeting’s outcomes and putting your attention on the future may even be more advantageous in some circumstances. Here are some methods you could employ to correct a poor first impression:

1. Take the opportunity to gain perspective

Understanding how frequent bad experiences are one thing that can assist people in learning from them You can relieve some of the pressure on yourself to be flawless by acknowledging that poor first impressions can occasionally occur and approach subsequent meetings with more confidence. This acknowledgement might also make it easier for you to have more compassion when forming your own opinions of other people.

2. Assess the situation

Review the situation before acting during or following your unpleasant experience. For instance, you may still have time to address a business meeting’s initial performance if you can tell that it is not going as well as you had hoped and turn the rest of the meeting into a more fruitful one. If you only learn that things didn’t go as planned after the meeting or conversation, you might opt for a different tactic to handle the situation, like sending a follow-up email or having a second conversation.

3. Seek out opportunities for more interactions

Engaging with the person or people you want to impress frequently is a great way to make a good impression. You might feel less pressure to perform flawlessly in situations with lower stakes, like casual conversations or group work at the office. You can gradually show off your admirable qualities by being consistent.

4. Address the situation

If you don’t actively seek out follow-up meetings, you might not always have the chance to do so. You may get in touch to express appreciation for how the meeting went and inquire as to whether the other party is available for a follow-up conversation in circumstances where subsequent meetings are dependent on the success of the first, such as project planning meetings. In situations where you would have seen the other party again even without the initial meeting, this strategy might still be helpful to you.

5. Get feedback

Sometimes it can be challenging to pinpoint precisely what transpired during an encounter that left a certain impression. When appropriate, you can ask the other person to think back on the conversation and suggest any changes. For instance, if you ask a coworker for suggestions on how you can enhance your work output and interpersonal interactions, they might suggest that you try allowing others to speak up first in team meetings. You can demonstrate to people that you value their candor and strive to be a good collaborator by changing how you act.

Why do bad first impressions happen?

It’s crucial to establish a good first impression in both personal and professional interactions. This pressure can sometimes cause people to represent themselves differently. Someone who is nervous may be less articulate or have trouble remembering what they had planned to say.

Uncontrollable circumstances can occasionally contribute to a poor first impression. The challenging circumstances, such as meeting a client in a public place where there is unexpectedly loud noise, may affect how the client perceives the professional.

Tips for preventing a bad first impression

There are ways to get situations fixed and ways to get ready for first meetings. You can use the following advice to create positive first impressions:

Mentally prepare

Before entering a first meeting with a client, colleague, or hiring manager, it might be helpful to intentionally decompress because stress can make it difficult to concentrate or express yourself clearly. Deep breathing, exercising the morning of the meeting, eating a healthy meal, and getting enough sleep the night before are some actions you can take. You might find that meditation aids in calming and boosting your self-confidence.

Be punctual

One of the easiest ways to make a good first impression is to demonstrate your respect for the time of the person you are meeting. You can accomplish this by arriving early or on time for a meeting. Make plans based on how long it might take you to arrive at the meeting location. This could help demonstrate that you’ll arrive on time for work and other meetings in the future.

Dress appropriately

Before you even have a chance to speak or shake their hand, your outward appearance can influence someone else. For this reason, it’s crucial to present yourself appropriately for the meeting and to maintain good hygiene. When deciding what to wear, take the meeting’s purpose into account. For instance, golf attire may be more appropriate than everyday casual clothing if you’re meeting a client on a golf course.

Do your research

Making a good first impression can be aided by knowing something about the person or organization you are speaking with. Think about what information you could benefit from knowing before attending a meeting. For instance, prior to a job interview, it is crucial to do research on the company so that you can discuss in detail how you would be a good fit. Research might also help you gain more self-assurance, which might make it simpler for you to maintain concentration during a first conversation.


What do you do if you make a bad first impression?

The Do-Over: How To Correct A Bad First Impression
  1. Recognize that a first impression is just that—a start.
  2. Remember that repeated, small interactions build trust fastest. …
  3. Ask for a chance to correct. …
  4. Remind the other person how open-minded he or she is.
  5. Ask them for advice – on anything.

Can you ever recover from a bad first impression?

It can be challenging, but not impossible, to overcome poor first impressions. The adage “You never get a second chance to make a great first impression” may not be accurate after all, as it turns out. Making a good first impression is under a lot of pressure, and for good reason.

How can first impressions be improved?

How to Create a Good First Impression
  1. Be on Time. Your “good excuse” for being late won’t interest someone you are meeting for the first time.
  2. Present Yourself Appropriately. …
  3. Be Yourself. …
  4. Have a Winning Smile! …
  5. Be Open and Confident. …
  6. Use Small Talk. …
  7. Be Positive. …
  8. Be Courteous and Attentive.

How do you change a first impression?

7 tips to redeem yourself after a bad first impression
  1. Apologise, but not too much.
  2. Decide whether it’s worth fretting over.
  3. Pivot.
  4. Ask for advice.
  5. Put some thought into your clothing.
  6. Be honest, persistent and consistent.
  7. Realise that it’s only the beginning.

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