Body Language Expert, Professional Speaker, Author, Media Authority, Spokes Person, Corporate Consultant, Trainer and Coach.
Patti speaks to Fortune 500 Companies, Associations, and Universities on: Body Language, Deception Detection, Selling, Interviewing, Public Speaking, First Impressions, Conflict Management and more.
She also consults with Law Enforcement and the Media on the Body Language of Celebrities, Politicians and Suspects.
Book Patti to speak at her website Patti@PattiWood.net
How to Make Your Body Language Work for You During an Interview
Below is a recent interview with US News in which Patti shares her interview tips from her recent book, SNAP Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma.
How to make
your body language work for you during an interview
By: Miriam Salpeter
been practicing what to say at an interview, but have you considered what
signals your body language is sending? (The Merrabian research I think you
wanted to quote here Is not actually valid. Perhaps better to say it has 4.3
times the impact than words alone) Research suggests ____ percent of
communication isn’t transmitted via our words, but is broadcast through our
actions and attitude.
Wood, author of SNAP: Making the Most of
First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, suggests the following tips
from the book to help you wow your interviewer:
Contact Is Key - Wood explains, “My research is the
US and Canada suggests that palm contact is more important than how firm your
someone shakes hands with you and gives you just her fingers and not her full
palm, at a subconscious level you may think, ‘What is she hiding? What is she
keeping from me?” Evaluate the all-important handshake and worry less about if
you have a firm enough grip and more about extending your entire hand and palm
when you greet someone.
How to Sit - Don’t make yourself smaller in stature. Appear brave by keeping your body
open. Wood notes, “Keepyour arms open and away from your body, legs uncrossed, and
shoulders back.”Take note of how you sit. Wood
explains, “Research says that women perch, sitting on the edge ofthe seat, curved forward, while men
tend to slouch, relyingmore on the backrest. Perching the entire time
makes youlook less powerful. Vary your position, use lots of space, and
occasionally place your arms on the armrest to look confident.” When you
position yourself effectively, you’ll appear confident, vital, and energetic.
Show Your Hands
- Showing your hands helps you appear open, honest and
approachable, so Wood notes, “Don’t hide your hands under the table
or in your pockets ortuck them away. Keep your hands open and in view on
the table or the arms of the chair.” She explains, “Gesture normally. Your
hands show your emotional state. When you close your hand, the amount of
tightness and the way the fingers curve show how you feel about the topic. In
an interview, you want to be open, not closed.”
Mirror - Research shows that people hire people who are like
them. Use body language to help convince your interviewer that you are a good
fit. Wood suggests you “match and mirror your interviewer enough briefly at the very
beginning of the interview to make him comfortable with you. For example, lean
slightly in the direction he is leaning, for instance, or match his smile with
one of your own.”
Get Grounded - When the going get tough, the tough get grounded. Wood explains, “When people are
nervous, they tend to either move a lot orfreeze. To overcome the
toughest interview questions, put both feet firmly on the ground. This makes it
easier to use both hemispheres of the brain— the rational and the creative-emotional.
Or, if you feel yourselffreeze, move your feet in some way.”
End Well - While first impressions are important, people will also remember the last
thing you do or say.Wood suggests, “The last impression, the recencey effect is critical
and can improve a bad first impression” As the conversation winds down, make
sure your belongings are on the left side of your body so you can easily shake
with your right hand. You may shake hands more than once — when you get up, at
the door, and after talking for a bit longer while parting.” Even if the
interview didn’t go as well as you might have liked, keep focused and poised
until the end and you may be able to improve the impression you leave.