Body Language at Work: Job Interviews

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We randomly came across a post on Reality Pod over at Facebook which illustrates how important body language is in practical living.  For those who are about to have job interviews, this would be quite helpful.  Here are some important points to pick up about body language on job interviews:

  • Make appropriate eye contact.  This does not mean you stare.  It simply means that you look at the face of your interviewer especially when trying to make a point about yourself or when answering important questions.  Appropriate eye gaze shows interest and attentiveness, but do not look too intently.  Looking very intently at someone makes them feel suspicious of your motives.
  • Sit up straight.  Bad posture results in (a) poor breathing patterns; and (b) subluxations that affect the overall integrity of the spinal column, nerves and blood vessels.  And we know that any affectation with the overall integrity of the body also affects our capacity to think and to give good answers.
  • Assume an open body position.  Smile.  Do not cross your arms over your chest.  Crossing your arms over your chest and the lack of a smile are “closed” body positions that convey you are having reservations about the job or that you could not care less about it.  A closed body position is a protective stance that tells people that they are not welcome; and shutting out your interviewer from your “personal circle” is something you wouldn’t want to do.
  • Regulate the information you send off.  Too many extra movements (i.e., hand gestures and fidgeting) and extra colors (i.e., wearing extremely colorful clothes or whose colors that are too bright) interfere with the message you want to put across.  Remember that it is much more difficult to process and understand information (sights, sounds and movements) when they are too “busy” or there is too much of them coming in all at once.  Your interviewer will feel that there is so much to sort through and would become annoyed for having to work through that much information.  Present yourself with just the right clothing and movement so as to alert or to catch attention, but once you have your interviewer’s attention, make sure that you HELP him focus on the “auditory signals” you are giving out — and that is your spoken message.
  • The handshake matters.  It must be good and firm.  Handshakes are moments of touch that you share with any person you are doing business with.  In terms of proxemics, these are brief moments where you allow another person into your personal zone in order to “seal the deal”.  A weak handshake conveys tentative feelings about having a person exist within your personal circle; and a firm one conveys a more solid presence and a firm stance about whatever business has transpired.  Whether or not you like to push through with any transaction, a firm handshake will tell the other person that you are active, present and aware of the important points that you have talked about.

As social beings, the way we carry ourselves is not simply to satisfy an aesthetic purpose.  Presenting ourselves well in front of another person does not equate with satisfying surface-level needs.  When we communicate, we COMMUNE — we share and make a connection — and to do this effectively is to deliver the entire package using the totality of our body’s capacities to convey that which we want others to understand about us.

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Have a fun-filled week!  🙂