Mind Your Ps and Body Cues

The Toronto Sun n Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Special to Postmedia Network

Mind Your Ps and Body Cues

Important things to remember when interviewing
for that summer job. “We’re able to read up
to 10,000 nonverbal cues in less than a minute,” says
body language expert Patti Wood. “Many hiring
decisions in interviews are based on reading those cues
in an instinctual way, with the interviewer then spending
the rest of the interview looking for evidence to back up
her initial snap (impression).” Give off the right cues with
tips from Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First
Impressions, Body Language and Charisma.

See success: “Visualize your success before
the interview, rather than imagining all the things
you might do wrong,” says Wood. Practice “live.”
Close your eyes and visualize yourself in the situation.
Imagine a self-assured handshake and sitting with
confidence — be warm and friendly, listen attentively
and answer questions assertively.

Less stress for success: The first few moment s of the
interview are do or die. “Your most important goal in any
interaction is to make the other person feel comfortable.”
By focusing on them, you’re no longer focused on yourself
and your fears. 

Manage the shift : “Your interviewer may back away
from you, break off eye contact, or stop giving
you nonverbal feedback. If you’re sensing that
something has shifted or changed, don’t freak out!”
says Wood. Just keep listening, connecting, and
answering the interviewer’s questions. “If it’s appropriate
and fits your personality, you can even choose
to be a bit feisty and say, ‘What can I do right now to
convince you that I’d be the best person for this job?’”

Lean into It: Lean forward to show that you are
interested, listening and connecting to what the
interviewer is saying. “But don’t overdo it; you’re not
trying to get in their face. Just aim for gentle, timely
leans. As interviewees, we tend to pull back when we
don’t like or are fearful of a question.”

Show your hands: “Always keep your hands open and
in view on the table or the arms of the chair,” stresses
Wood. Gesture normally. Tightly closed hands reveal
how you feel about the topic being discussed and
the person you are with. 

A great ending: The last thing you say or do matters 
a great deal! “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,” says 
Wood, adding that you might shake hands more than once. 
Shake when you get up, at the door, and after talking for
a bit longer while parting. “Make that seem like the
most natural thing in the world, because every time
you shake hands, you’re bonding.”

Even if you feel you bombed the interview,
leave on a high note by closing strongly and confidently.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.