Sometimes it doesn’t matter what we say or how we say something. Because if our body language – that is our physical mannerism and stature – does not match up with what we are saying, then the message that we are trying to get across will be skewered and misinterpreted.
In fact, research suggests that our body language accounts for upwards of 90% of our communication and what we are really trying to say.
This really is why it is so important to be aware of our own body language, particularly in an interview setting where the interviewer may be reading into everything we say and do in front of them.
I will address a couple areas where we need to be mindful of our body language in an interview setting:
Face to face sitting in front of an interviewer – This can be very daunting. We might feel as though we are being interrogated and there is a bright light shining in our eyes! Okay, I am exaggerating here. But the fact of the matter is, it’s not easy being in front of another person knowing full well that they are trying to make a decision on whether to hire you or not, and it all rests upon what you say and do.
So try to have an open posture and keep your hands clasped together. Don’t fidget. And if naturally, you are someone that uses your hands when talking, try to keep this minimal and relevant to what you are saying. Try to avoid crossing your arms or resting your hands on your legs like you are ready to finish up with the interview.
Facial expressions – Don’t be afraid to smile or show facial expressions. Obviously, don’t overdo it. But show a nice smile and use your facial expressions intermittingly.
To sit back or not. To lean forward or not. What should I do?? Help! – There is nothing wrong with sitting back or leaning forward. Or doing both intermittingly in the course of the interview. Just avoid slouching and coming across disinterested. If you are trying to make a point or elaborate on something, feel free to lean forward but not too much.
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