If you want to make a good first impression on a date or a job interview you should try not to boast too much about how well you’ve done.
Instead, scientists say you should concentrate on communicating the hard work and effort behind your success.
The new study found that people who talk about their own struggles appear more likeable.
If you want to make a good first impression on a date or a job interview you should try not to boast too much about how well you’ve done (stock image)
New research led by Dr Janina Steinmetz from Cass Business School revealed that success alone may not be enough to make a positive impression.
Dr Steinmetz conducted three experiments with participants from the US and the Netherlands, with people from all age ranges (18-75) and with an even gender balance between male and female.
Two of the experiments emulated job interviews (using working adults) and one emulated a date (using students).
Participants were asked to imagine themselves in the role of the manager (interviewee or ‘sharer’ on a date) or the receiver (interviewer or ‘listener’ on a date).
The ‘impression manager’ was asked to speak about themselves in a positive way and feedback was given by the receiver.
The receiver detailed what they wanted to hear more about – the talent and success, or the hard work and effort behind it.
All three experiments found the impression managers overemphasised their talents and successes.
They did not talk about the effort and hard work behind what they had achieved – something that the receivers wanted to hear about.
Dr Steinmetz said it was clear that communicating success and talent in job interviews or on dates is important but it is just as important to tell the story of the effort behind it to create a warmer, positive, more relatable first impression.
Scientists say you should concentrate on communicating the hard work and effort behind your success. The new study found that people who talk about their own struggles appear more likeable (stock image)
‘A success story isn’t complete without the hard work and explanation of why we were successful.
‘Did the success come easy, thanks to one’s talents, or was it attained through hard work?’ she said.
Her research shows that emphasising effort is more likely to garner a positive impression.
‘For example, if you’re on a date and talking about a marathon that you recently ran, perhaps talk about all the training that helped you to cross the finish line.
‘Or, if you’re in a job interview and are talking about a successful project that you led to completion, include a few details about the challenges along the way, and how you overcame them’, she said.
The research is published in Basic and Applied Social Psychology.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOURSELF STAY MOTIVATED?
Lulls and dips in motivation are common, with most people experiencing one in at least some aspect of their life.
They are particularly commonplace at work, with career dips often draining motivation and happiness.
Motivation however, can be hard to come by and being trapped in a job you don’t enjoy can be a primary cause of this.
Finding ways to drive yourself and avoid stagnation are important as you strive to better yourself.
President of fitness company Equinox, Sarah Robb O’Hagan, revealed in an interview with Forbes her top five tips to staying motivated.
- Exercise early in the mornings
- Spend time with co-workers
- Always keep looking for inspiration
- Push yourself
- Be sure to regenerate and get enough sleep
Psychologists also claim that it is okay to not be truly passionate about your work, as long as there is space in your life to pursue your actual passions.
This balance is important, but not everyone has a passion in life.
Dr Susan Biali is a wellness coach who says having one is important, and she outlines five steps to help with this process.
- List your talents
- Pay attention to who makes you annoyed or jealous
- Think of what you loved to do as a child
- Notice when you lose track of time, or what you hate to stop doing
- See your passion hunt as a fun, joyful adventure