The extreme things Americans are willing to do to make a good first impression

What would you do to avoid making a bad first impression? Nearly a quarter of Americans would go so far as to camp out in Antarctica, according to new research.

While not everyone is among the 23 percent willing to brave the cold, four in 10 would be willing to stand in line at the DMV for one full day to avoid making a bad first impression.

The study of 2,000 Americans examined their attitudes on first impressions, and the saying holds up — you only get one chance, at least according to 85 percent of respondents.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of MOO, the survey also looked at Americans’ thoughts on interviews and how first impressions play a vital role.

Americans place so much pressure on themselves in interviews, in fact, that nearly six in 10 would rather stay at a job they disliked than go out and interview for a new one.

Perhaps this sentiment is related to just how frequent it is to have something go wrong in an interview.

Four in 10 Americans surveyed admitted to forgetting an interviewer’s name and 34 percent have even forgotten the company’s name.

Forty-two percent of respondents have yelled at an interviewer and another four in 10 have left in tears.

Americans were much more likely to put pressure on a first impression in an interview than even meeting their in-laws for the first time — at 72 percent and 22 percent.

When looking at making a good first impression in an interview or on a first date, an interview comes out on top again — at 53 percent and 41 percent.

It comes as no surprise, then, that 66 percent of respondents agreed that interviewing for jobs is intimidating.

More than seven in 10 respondents also said they feel business cards are an essential for interviews, and 65 percent said it makes them feel more confident.

“It’s clear from our research that Americans will go above and beyond to make a good first impression,” said Gina Cothey, VP of Global Marketing at MOO. “It’s true that an initial meeting will always feel daunting, but great preparation — including having the right tools to hand — like a great business card, can help to take the edge off.”

What is surprising, however, is nearly eight in 10 Americans said they were confident in their interview skills.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans agreed a handshake can make or break an interview — with 53 percent saying a firm handshake is a must-have.

This confidence only increases when Americans are in a networking setting — with 76 percent agreeing they’re more confident when they have business cards.

“Arming yourself with ice-breakers is just one way to make you feel confident whatever the setting,” said Cothey, VP of Global Marketing at MOO. “Whether it’s committing some great opening questions to memory or a well designed business card, you’ll conquer your nerves in no time.”


  1. Stand in line at the DMV for a full day 41%
  2. Be stuck on a crowded train with no air conditioner 36%
  3. Give up electricity for a week 36%
  4. Eat only your least favorite food for a full day 36%
  5. Get bitten by mosquitos for a full day 35%
  6. Only take stairs for one full year 32%
  7. Give up running water in your home for a week 28%
  8. Be stuck on a ski lift all-day 27%
  9. Camp out in Antarctica for a night 23%


  1. Forgot the person’s name 40%
  2. Showed up late 37%
  3. Didn’t show up at all 35%
  4. Forgot the company’s name 34%
  5. Forgot what the company did 33%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

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