September 15, 2015

You have crafted the “perfect” resume that enabled you to land a seat at the interview table; now it is time to make sure that you do not “bomb” the interview. How composed are you? Theconfidence that you project and the body language that you display are integral when it comes to the influence they have when you’re interviewing. Did you know that 55% of effective communication is through body language? And, 38% is the tone of your voice and only 7% is from the words you speak, according to Public Words.

Just take note from some successful actors who have to do so much more than read a script when auditioning. Jodie Bentley, an acting coach, asserted the importance of body language in an article from Business Insider, “I think it is important to have body awareness before you go into an interview,” Bentley said. “There are many actions and habits that we should consider doing or avoid doing to tell the right story during the interview setting.”

Hiring managers are looking not only for the technical skills for the position, but they are also assessing whether or not you are compatible with their company culture.  Relax – we have you covered! Here are some essential dos and don’ts to get you through the interview:

Do

  • Compose yourself before you enter the room; come well-groomed, check to make sure your lunch or lipstick isn’t leftover on your teeth, and straighten up your clothes
  • Once you meet the interviewer stand up, make eye contact with a firm handshake, smile, and maintain eye contact during the interview
  • Keep your body language open; shift your torso towards the interviewer and make sure your arms aren’t crossed; also lean in slightly when you are answering questions and speaking as this shows your interest in the interview
  • Mirror the interviewer’s body language
  • Show enthusiasm and make positive gestures; nod your head when you agree with comments from the interviewer
  • Sit up straight and try to avoid talking too much with your hands

Please Don’t

  • Play with your hair, crack your knuckles, fidget, chew gum, put your hands on your mouth or face as these can be very distracting
  • Slouch or lean back
  • YAWN!
  • Play the crisscross game with your arms and legs repeatedly; this can make you come across as uncomfortable and guarded
  • Glance at your phone, watch, or the clock
  • Stare at the floor or look around when answering questions; while eye contact may be awkward to some, try to maintain it as much as you can, or find a spot that is just past the interviewer’s eyes that will help your focus

As you prepare for an interview, have a friend or family member assess your interview skills as well as your body language in a practice interview. Or, you can even  record yourself and identify habits that could be perceived as unprofessional or distracting behavior. On paper you embody a strong candidate; so also be mindful of  your body language and how that can affect how you are perceived when it comes time to meet face to face with a hiring manager.

 An article by Forbes, Is Your Body Betraying You in Job Interviews?, is another great resource to help you tackle any body language barriers.

Do you think body language influences the outcome of the interview?

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Posted By: Anastasia Hoosman

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