Essential Body Language Secrets

10.6_list_body_language_post_v1Smile: While it may be through gritted teeth in a stressful interview situation, smiling indicates that you are relaxed, approachable and confident about your suitability for the job. Don’t stare at the hiring manager with an inane grin in your efforts to maintain a relaxed air; be natural.

Watch your hand movement: If in doubt, keep your hands in your lap, rather than be tempted to play with your watch, hair or jewellery. Don’t constantly touch your nose or mouth during your interview; this is perceived by body language experts as a sign of dishonesty.

Firm handshake: The handshake is the vital opener to your interview, building rapport and indicating a level of self-confidence.  Some research suggests it takes up to three hours of constant interaction with others to establish the same rapport you can achieve with a firm handshake. Don’t overdo it with a bone-crushing grip or cover the hiring manager’s hand with your free hand – it implies dominance.

Relaxed but professional body position: Maintain an open but professional stance and sitting position. Don’t sit on the edge of your chair but instead sit up straight, leaning slightly forward and with your hands relaxed in front of you. Cross your legs at the ankles or keep both feet on the floor (crossing your legs may come across as too casual). Also be sure not to cross your arms, as that will make you appear closed and defensive.

Deep breathing: Deep breathing will help you relax and prevent you from appearing breathless and nervous. Try to breathe deep into your diaphragm instead of just shallowly into your chest. You’ll be surprised by how much this will help to calm and ground you.

Stand tall: Nothing contributes more to an impression of confidence than good posture – so make a conscious effort to walk with your head high and shoulders back, and sit with a straight back (while remaining relaxed and natural). You don’t want to skulk into an interview with stooped shoulders and your head down, then slouch down in your chair – you might as well be wearing a sign saying, ‘I don’t deserve this job.’

Voice and Tone: The pitch and quality of the voice are usually the indicators of your personality. If the pitch is too high, you might be regarded as someone who is very aggressive, less empathic and possibly autocratic in his/her behaviour. Speakers with higher-pitched voices are judged to be less empathic, less powerful and more nervous than speakers with lower pitched voices.

Gestures & Expressions: Try and make limited hand gestures and movements during an interview. Do not stay stiff without any expressions. Sitting with your arms folded might make you look defensive. Pointing is often perceived as an aggressive motion and in some cultures is considered incredibly rude. Repeated or aggressive hand gestures should be kept to a minimum.

Scroll Up