An interview is where you tell your story through words and through body language. It is like a slow dance. You take 2 steps forward and 1 step back. In an interview, you are following your interviewer’s body language. You are mirroring them as you do when you dance. You want to glide through the interview successfully while looking them in the eyes.
It is very important to be aware of your body language during an interview. Every movement you make has meaning to it. For example; a strong handshake, eye contact and smile show you’re confident. Soft handshake, no eye contact, head held down could show a meek person. This could leave a bad impression with the decision maker, who usually sizes you up within the first 30 seconds of the interview.
When we are answering questions, our interviewer is watching our body language for signals. That is why you need to be aware of what your body is reflecting while speaking.
In an interview, you want to mirror the other person. If they are smiling, you want to be smiling, if they sit, you sit etc… As you mirror them, they also will naturally mirror you too. It is like monkey see, monkey do.
Examples of positive body language
Eyes-look into the other person’s eyes
Hands- holding them shows comfort
Feet- not moving staying still
Examples of negative body language
Hands touching face, throat or mouth
Touching or scratching nose
Looking around the room while person is speaking.
Here are words from questions that usually are asked during an interview. Notice what body language should be used.
Ambitious- The person should be sitting at the edge of their seat, speeding up their sentences while answering the question using vocal variety.
Success- The person should be sitting tall, smiling with direct eye contact, and using gestures with their hands.
Weaknesses- you have to be careful when describing a weakness. People tend to look down and start rubbing hands together or legs start to shake. The person needs to keep smiling, sit with confidence. As they turn that weakness into a strength, their body language will change naturally.
Strengths – The person reflects they are confident by the way they sit. For example: leaning forward, sitting tall, head held high, hands together using purposeful gestures while speaking, keeping a smile and using a confident voice.
Remember that your body tells all. At the end of the interview your actions become an indelible memory to the interviewer. They will remember you by associating your body movements with your answers. It is one big dance. Two steps forward, one step back.
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© 2010- Cindy Cannon – All rights reserved.
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