Bachelor Contestants - LEAD
Credit: Mitch Haaseth/ABC

Say what you want about this season’s Bachelor, Nick Viall, but one thing’s for sure—the man knows how to make a lasting first impression.

Let’s face it, you don’t make to the finale of not one, not two, but three Bachelor franchises without knowing how to work a room. Bachelorette Andi Dorfman may have said it best when she gave Viall the coveted first impression rose way back in 2014 (below).

“When you stepped out of the limo, I know you were so nervous, but you totally left a lasting impression on me,” Dorfman said on the season 10 premiere. There was such a sincerity and you were so genuine and I felt that. And that’s what’s so endearing about you—you don’t even see how cute and sweet you are.”

Well, Viall has definitely come a long way (and shed a lot of tears) since then, but there’s no doubt that it's that same easy charm that made him a natural choice to hand out the roses this time around. Ahead of tonight’s big season premiere, which will be chock-full of delightfully adorable (and, yes, cringe-worthy) meet-cutes, we asked Viall to give us his secrets to making a killer first impression.

“I’m a big believer in confidence, but I think sometimes that can be misleading,” Viall tells InStyle. “It takes a lot of confidence for people to be expressive, but it also takes confidence to show vulnerability and open up right away. I think that tells a lot about someone.”

Viall also says that perfection is boring, especially if you’re trying to stand out. “It sounds cliché, but if someone is willing to be themselves and not try too hard to someone they’re not—that sticks. That is what makes an amazing first impression.”

And when you need a little extra boost before a first date? Don’t discount some good walk-up music. “Before the season premiere of The Bachelor, I just tried to relax, clear my head, and listen to some music. I’m a big Kings of Leon fan. And there’s probably some Britney Spears and Justin Bieber in my playlist too—which I’m definitely not ashamed of.”

The season premiere of The Bachelor is Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.