The Importance of Body Language

We’ve all heard the saying, “actions speak louder than words.” This concept could not be more true when it comes to interviewing. Body language plays a key role in the messages we are giving and receiving. Although body language is a nonverbal form of communication, it accounts for up to 80% of all interaction. It could be the difference between a successful interview or not making it to the next round of screening. Mastering these four body language tricks will not only help you succeed in an interview but will help with your everyday interactions.

1. Eye contact:

Eye contact is the single greatest and most impactful form of body language.  It improves the overall face to face communication between the interviewer and the person being interviewed. If not done correctly, eye contact can send the wrong message to the interviewer. For instance, shaky eye contact can translate that you are anxious or distracted. This becomes a point of concern to the interviewer. However,  a strong hold of eye contact sends a message that you are confident and engaged in the conversation at hand.  

2. Posture:

The stance you present to the interviewer, although this may seem like a minor aspect, sends a strong message on your attitude and confidence.  Your body language should show that you are an active and receptive listener. If you are slouched over in your chair, this shows a lack of confidence; on the other hand, leaning back in your chair portrays disinterest and a lack of seriousness. Even leaning forward slightly can further express your interest and attention to the conversation. Don’t forget to keep your chin up. You never want to my staring down at the table or at your feet.  

3. Keep your hands visible:

Carrying your hands crossed or tucked away in your pockets translates into a closed body language position, sending a negative message to the interviewer. It can also project that you are uncomfortable and uncertain. Make sure not to fidget with your hands throughout the interview. This is interpreted as a sign of anxiousness or fear.

4. The handshake:

A handshake is your chance to make a first impression and sets the tone for the rest of the interview. A weak handshake gives the impression that you are a meek and doubtful. Make sure to give a firm handshake with eye contact to portray confidence and assertiveness.


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