The aim of this study was to examine the informational cues that male and female students perceive to be influential when developing initial impressions and expectancies of a lecturer. University students (n=752) rated the extent to which 30 informational cues influence their initial perceptions of a lecturer. Following exploratory factor analysis (EFA), a five-factor model (i.e. appearance (APP), accessories (ACC), third-party reports (TPR), communication skills (CS) and nationality/ethnicity (NE)) was extracted for male students and a five-factor model (i.e. ACC, TPR, APP, interpersonal skills (IPS) and engagement (ENG)) extracted for female students. Inspection of mean scores identified that male students rated CS (e.g. clarity of voice) and TPR (e.g. qualifications) and female students IPS (e.g. control of class), ENG (e.g. eye contact) and TPR to be influential factors in forming initial impressions and expectancies of a lecturer. The findings further identify the potential for expectancy effects within student–lecturer interactions.