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.
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Can Your Body Language Win You The Job?
Can Your Body Language Win You The Job?
I made several body language recommendations for this article on interviewing for a job. My comments are below highlighted in yellow.
Can Your Body Language Win You The Job? Elizabeth
Elizabeth is a freelance writer in California and a
former Career Q&A columnist for the Wall Street Journal.
Amegavisa is getting nervous. In his last year of human biology studies at the
University of Cape Coast in Ghana, it’s time to start thinking about job
knows it’s important to dress smartly for an interview. Less obvious is the
importance of how you carry yourself.
situation is quite simple. I have never been interviewed before,” wrote
23-year-old Amegavisa in an email to BBC Capital. He had a basic question — one
most of us probably don’t think much about. “Is there any recommended sitting
position before and during your interview?”
everyone knows it’s important to dress smartly for an interview, less obvious —
and less known— is the importance of how you carry yourself. What hidden cues
do you give when you walk through the doorway, shake hands or sit?
body language experts share their insights on what moves to make, and avoid, in
first contact between an interviewer and interviewee is almost always a
handshake. First impressions often determine how the rest of the interview
goes, so this can be one of the most important elements of getting it right,
according to David Alssema, a body language expert and training facilitator
with Paramount Training & Development in Perth, Australia.
is built by similarities,” so shake hands the way the interviewer does,
recommended Alssema in an email. “Matching the strength or greeting shows you
want to be an equal. Overpowering a handshake can signal a dominant attitude
towards the meeting.”
Zones of space
matter our culture, we all have and are at least subconsciously aware of four
zones of space around us. They are (from farthest to closest): Public, social,
personal and intimate. It’s important to be keenly attuned to these during an
interview, according to Nick Morgan, Boston-based speech coach and author of
Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and
Maximizing Your Personal Impact. “The only significant things that happen
between people happen in personal and intimate space,” he wrote in an email.
“Since intimate space is off limits [in an interview], you want to get into the
personal space of the interviewer,” if you want the person to be inclined to
decide in your favour.
Make your move
the handshake brings us into the personal space that we want — it’s why we do
it, according to Morgan — typical seating arrangements in an interview tend to
move us away. “That makes it easier for the interviewer to pass on us — but
harder for us to make an impression,” he said. “So look for ways to tactfully
move into the personal space of the interviewer.” For example, you might move
your chair slightly or sit on the same side of a round table.
you’re seated, consider other ways to close the distance. Lean forward, for
example, just not too much. “Try to do this tactfully and subtly, not rapidly
or awkwardly,” cautioned Morgan. It’s worth the effort.
increase trust and connection with people when we close the distance between
us, even by small amounts,” he said.
Please click the arrow above to see how to improve
confidence with certain postures.
Open for business
very important to keep your body language “open,” according to Morgan. You’re
likely to be nervous and you might find yourself unconsciously clutching your
hands in front of you or folding your arms. “These feel safe and comfortable,
but also distancing and disconnecting for the other party,” he said. In
addition, “[folding your arms] shows that you are disinterested, and it also
prevents you from leaning,” said Alssema.
The eyes have
contact is important, and any less or any more than a reasonable amount may
indicate other attitudes,” said Alssema. What’s just right? That might be hard
to tell in some situations, but Alssema suggests mirroring the amount of time
the interviewer gives you eye contact. If there is a panel of interviewers,
it’s important to provide the right mix of time for each person. “Respond to
each person individually with eye contact when answering questions,” he said.
“Glancing around is a signal for boredom, so avoid it if possible.”
People often make the mistake of
equating good eye contact with never looking away — but this would be a
mistake, too, according to Atlanta, Georgia-based Patti Wood, a body language
expert and author of SNAP Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language,
“It is normal to look away from
time to time as you speak, because you’re accessing information in your brain,”
she wrote in an email. Just don’t let yourself drift off when the interviewer
is speaking. “After giving an answer, remember to make eye contact and listen
to the interviewer. Eye contact sends the message that you are serious and
engaged,” Wood said.
Don’t forget to
breathe — deeply
The moment people get nervous,
the more quickly they start breathing. That can wreak havoc in an interview.
“When you take quick shallow breaths, you reduce your
ability to think clearly,” said Wood. “This may keep you from answering
questions quickly and succinctly.”
Instead, try to breathe deeply
from low down in your belly. “[It is] one key to feeling clearheaded,
energised, and confident,” she said. “Practice breathing more slowly, using
your diaphragm, belly, rib cage and lower back in the process.” Of course, this
isn’t something you’ll want to do in your actual interview. “But try it
whenever you get anxious and certainly before your interview,” she said.
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