5 Keys To Making A Great First Impression

Man Shaving while Brushing His Teeth
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By Drake Baer

We used to think that it took seven seconds to make a first impression.

According to new research out of Princeton, it's about 100 milliseconds - the same amount of time it takes for a giant hummingbird to flap its wings.

We're all constantly practicing what psychologists call physiognomy, or reading a person's personality traits from their appearance.

"Appearance is our first filter," says Sylvia Ann Hewlett, author of new book "Executive Presence," "and it's happening all the time."

Job interviews, speaking gigs, client meetings, first dates - the list goes on.

"The really good news here is that it's about polish, grooming, and being put together," Hewlett says. "It's not about the precise shape of your body, texture of your hair, or the designer you wear."

As part of researching her book, Hewlett and her team at the Center for Talent Innovation did a survey of 4,000 professionals in the U.S., including 268 senior executives, hoping to decode what businesspeople think "capable" looks and sounds like.

The senior execs say that the following five qualities of appearance make people instantly look like leaders: