Your Body Language Speaks Volumes
Most of us have experienced an interview with someone for something at some stage. You may also have had thoughts run through your mind in relation to how you should be sitting or how you wish the interview to go. Below are some tips on your body language and how it can speak volumes.
Rapport is built by similarities so it is recommended to shake someone’s hand the same as they do. Matching the strength or greeting shows you want to be an equal. Over powering a handshake can signal a dominant attitude towards the meeting. The greeting can be one of the most important parts of the interview as first impressions may decide how the rest of the interview may follow.
Sitting down with your hands visible, yet not fidgeting or tapping your fingers. A respectful seated position is recommended with your hands closed in lap, not clasped or interlocked. This will show a more humble and active listening position. Leaning forward will show interest, whereas learning backwards or slouching may indicate disinterest. Sit up straight and position your head slightly forward to show listening signals.
Eye contact is important and any less or any more than a reasonable amount may indicate other attitudes. It is recommended to mirror the length of time the interviewer also has with you. If there are a panel of interviewers then providing the right mix of time for each person is important. Respond to each person individually with eye contact when answering questions. Glancing around is a signal for boredom so avoiding it if possible is recommended.
Creating the right vibe
Where do you look on the interviewers face to indicate the right intention ? Looking into a persons eyes indicates Social interaction and can help build a relationship, Looking above the eyes can signal dominance, and looking at the mouth can indicate you find the information that is being relayed important. Depending on your intention, these different eye gazes can affect the outcome of an interview.
Finger pointing and gesturing
The hands can give away clues to dominance, deceit, authority and frustration etc. Be careful not to illustrate anything you didn’t want to illustrate with your hands and fingers. It is best to mirror the interviewers gestures, so you are speaking his her language however also do not mirror any that display authority as this may only be applicable to the interviewer.
Face your feet towards the person of interest. The feet point to where the body and mind wants to go, be careful not to have your body facing the exit.
Do not fold your arms no matter how comfortable it feels. It shows that you are disinterested and it also prevents you from learning.
With these tips above you now should be well armed (Please forgive the pun) and ready for the next interview or meeting you may have. Best of luck with it also. For more information on our body language training please see our training options section.
wrote a post on Body Language used within Interviews.