Do first impressions count?

Turning up late wearing the wrong attire and bumping a colleague’s vehicle in the car park are among the worst first impressions made by new employees, according to new research. A poll of almost 3000 workers* revealed that the first day at work can be a humiliating affair if things don’t go to plan.

Other blunders include arriving to find you are completely over-dressed, spilling tea everywhere, getting lost en route to the office and saying something inappropriate because you’re nervous. Almost half of workers have had a terrible first day at a new job, with 95% stressing how important it is to them to make a good first impression on others. And more than three quarters (82%) believe they’re more likely to make a positive impact on their first day if they know they’ve got their clothing spot on.

The study was commissioned by 4imprint, as part of its ‘First Impressions’ campaign, having recently released a new range of corporate clothing to help UK organisations and their employees create a strong and lasting impression.


  1. Learned someone’s name then immediately forgotten it
  2. Got someone’s name wrong
  3. Was just too nervous
  4. Finding I had no computer / desk to work at
  5. Said something stupid due to nerves
  6. Arrived at the wrong work address
  7. Turned up completely overdressed compared to everyone else
  8. Worn shoes that ended up being agonisingly painful by the end of the day
  9. Had to have something simple explained numerous times
  10. Got there late due to traffic
  11. Being told I wasn’t the ‘first choice candidate’
  12. Forgotten the code to get in or out of the office
  13. Got there late due to public transport problems
  14. Put your foot in your mouth during a conversation with someone
  15. Turned up completely underdressed compared to everyone else
  16. Been over friendly
  17. Accidentally sent a sensitive email as a ‘staff all’
  18. Made someone’s tea wrong
  19. Said something inappropriate to a new colleague
  20. Got there late due to other reasons
  21. Damaged company property
  22. Spilled tea everywhere
  23. Took too long on a lunch break
  24. Got the company name wrong
  25. Went to the wrong address
  26. Asked how to turn your computer on
  27. Had a wardrobe malfunction like trousers splitting
  28. Took a personal call that was frowned upon
  29. Worn a tie when nobody else was wearing one
  30. Had to leave early due to a family emergency.
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