It seems like the notion of a lasting first impression, the idea that you only get one shot at impressing someone, the old paradigm that lasting opinions of people are made within the first 10 seconds of a conversation or meeting has been lost.
I blame that on our crazed, interrupt driven lives, our ‘always on’ ‘always accessible’ lifestyle. Text messaging in the Safeway line, picking up the phone while juggling 3 bags and your Starbucks, the one liner style of communication we all do.
Unfortunately no one gets a pass. The immediacy of that first impression hasn’t changed.
For companies, that means taking a call or a coffee with a prospective hire needs your undivided attention. I cringe when I hear hiring managers wanting to take an initial call from the car. And it’s a double cringe when they take the call and are obviously multi-tasking.
For people looking for a job or interested in talking about one, taking a call while you are picking up the kids, while eating lunch, while on a connection that’s bad….well, it’s rarely a case where you are going to wow someone and land that job.
Think about this the next time you are talking to someone with a terrible connection, the next time you see a garbled, typo-filled text, the next time someone has long pauses in their conversation because they are doing something else. And think about the impression that leaves—does it project speed, confidence, gravitas? Or does that project a crazed lifestyle?