body language

Body Language…… important.

There are many facets of a job interview that are important stretching from the writing of your CV, the covering letter, how you dress, talk, answer questions etc etc. Amongst these important topics you have your actual body language and this is equally imperative to get right during the interview phase. As we all know people make opinions about us within seconds or minutes of seeing and meeting us. They make these  opinions based on what they see, what they hear and the conscious and unconscious movements and postures of the candidates bodies. So if you are dressed correctly and appropriately and speak slowly and clearly. and of course sensibly, then what you need also to get right is your body language.

What comes first is the handshake and this usually sets the tone for the interview. What you should do is match the handshake of that of the interviewer and ensure you don’t use too much strength and overpower their shake. This demonstrates equality and this in turn builds that important interview element, rapport.

Be aware of the four space zones, the public, the social, the personal and the intimate. Shaking hands immediately takes you into the personal space. This is the space you should try to inhabit as this in an interview context is the only space where things are likely to happen. When invited to sit its usual for your seat to lie outside this personal space so endeavour to tactfully move into the personal space or if this is not possible then gently lean forward to close the gap. Be open and don’t fold your arms, for fidget or grasp your hands in front of you as this conveys disinterest and distancing yourself in the eyes of the interviewer. Maintain eye contact when being asked a question and with each interviewer as they question you if you are faced with more than one. Try and emulate the eye contact time of the interviewer.  Looking around you displays boredom but briefly looking away when answering questions is fine. Just ensure that when being spoken to you do not lose eye contact nor start looking about.

Remember to control your breathing even if you start to get flustered. Practice this beforehand.

Steve Blythe  (Recruitment and Social Media Commentator).

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