How To Manage Your Body Language
How To Manage Your Body Language..
If you have been selected for an interview, you have obviously impressed the potential employer. However, no matter how strong you are on paper when you walk into a job interview, their first impression of you is made in three to seven seconds, before you’ve even said a word.
So if, as one study found, a first impression is based on 7% spoken words, 38% tone of voice and 55% body language then your body language is going to be a key factor in whether you get through to the next round.
But it isn’t just about that very important first impression it’s about how you conduct yourself throughout the whole interview.
It is important that your body language is positive during an interview and below are some ways that you can ensure this happens.
- Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake. Don’t make it too hard as this can imply arrogance; a limp handshake can suggest weakness.
- Smile as this shows confidence, friendliness and openness. However don’t grin maniacally all the way through the interview.
- Maintain good eye contact, as this is essential when trying to convey trust and confidence. Don’t stare as this can create an uncomfortable atmosphere. If there is more than one person interviewing you, look at the person asking the question when you reply, but glance at the other interviewers from time to time.
- A good posture can reflect energy and enthusiasm. Sit up straight as slouching may suggest you are not interested in the role. Sitting on the edge of your chair might give the impression that you are not comfortable. Sitting with your hands clasped behind your head will make you seem over confident or arrogant.
- Mirror the interviewer as this can help build a more relaxed atmosphere. People generally like people that appear to be similar to them. By observing the interviewer’s body language and reflecting this back at them, they are likely to be friendlier towards you. For example, if they lean forward, you lean forward or if they smile, you smile too. (But don’t go overboard and imitate them like a crazy person – use your instinct and be aware of the effect you are having on the interviewer.)
- Don’t fidget. This can be a sign of nervousness or boredom. Try not to play with your hair, face or jewellery. Interviewers can get irritated if the person they are interviewing is clicking a pen or kicking the table leg throughout the interview.
- Don’t fold your arms as this can be interpreted as a defensive stance.
- Nod when the interviewer is talking as this shows that you are engaged and listening.
- Don’t use aggressive body language such as pointing your index finger at the interviewer or gesticulating wildly.
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