The Art Of Body Language
Article 4


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An important point to note as you prepare to enter your interview is to be aware of your body language. Your body language gives an immediate and overwhelming insight into your emotional state.

An experienced interviewer can detect nerves, uncertainty, arrogance, confidence and the many other feelings expressed by the candidates they interview.

The most obvious point to start from is to examine your handshake. This is your initial contact with your interviewer and a limp handshake will do nothing to advance your chances of success.

Clasp the interviewers hand firmly, smile confidently and make eye contact. Remember that it is important that your interviewer should initiate the handshake when they make the initial introductions. Your handshake should be polite but warm, open and friendly.

Your interviewers are analysing your behaviour to gain an insight into your personality, and the personal characteristics you will bring to the role.

Your body language speaks volumes about they way you are feeling or the thoughts you had are having at a precise moment. Sincerity, honesty and integrity can be easily ascertained through your actions as easily as with your words.

Once you have been offered a seat, sit down ensuring that you maintain a comfortable distance between you and your interviewer.

Be aware of your interviewer at all times and actively listen to the questions asked of you. It is easy to become distracted as you begin to formulate answers that pre-empt the questions.

Your interviewer will be watching you intently throughout this time to see how you deal with your nerves.

Maintain eye contact with your interviewer throughout the interview. Continually shifting your glance away from them it can give the appearance of disinterest or worse still it may give the impression that have something to hide.

Be careful that you do not stare at the interviewer in your desire to maintain good eye contact as this can appear disdainful and belligerent.

Smile at your interviewer when the opportunity arises indicating an open friendly personality. One concern we have when we say this is that many people have made the mistake of grinning ridiculously throughout the entire interviewer leaving the interviewer with little choice but the wonder at the sincerity and mentality of the candidate seated before them.

Listen to each question and take a moment to ponder your answer. If you nod your head slowly in acknowledgement of a point that is put to you it will indicate interest on your part as you consider your answer. This positive response will encourage your interviewer to continue with their conversation.

Crossing your arms over your chests sends a negative signal to your interviewer. It demonstrates nerves and a degree of inapproachability.

Fidgety hands can be a terrible distraction to an interviewer. Beware of the following telling gestures.

§   Jangling coins.

§   Tapping a pen.

§   Adjusting your tie.

§   Picking at imaginary fluff on your clothes.

§   Running your hands through your hair.

§   Scratching.

These gestures are annoying for an interviewer. At the end of the interview these will be what your interviewer associates with you rather than your performance.

As you sit be aware of your position and do not slouch or assume a relaxed posture. The correct way to sit is to sit back in your chair, keep your back straight and face your interviewer at eye level. You may sit slightly forward when asked a question indicating interest and friendliness on your part.

If you feel more comfortable crossing your legs the best way to do so is to cross your legs at the ankle and angle your legs away from the interviewer.

For men in particular a tip is not to rest one ankle across a knee as it indicates a wilful or stubborn personality.

So as you prepare for the interview remember a few key points.

§   Firm Handshake

§   Maintain good eye contact but avoid staring

§   Good Personal Hygiene

§   Be aware of your hands and feet.

§   Don’t fold your arms

§   Be open and friendly

§   Firm Handshake

As you prepare to leave the interview, once again give a firm handshake, an open and confident smile and thank your interviewer for their time.

One last tip is not to comment on personal items in the office. Remember the old mistake people have made when complementing children in a photograph who are boys and not girls. A simple mistake at this point can have grave consequences. Be professional at all times and mirror your interviewers behaviour.

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