Becoming Fluent In Body Language: Five Tips For A Successful Interview

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It’s widely known that a successful interview depends largely on non-verbal cues. In fact, 33% of hiring managers report that within 90 seconds they can tell if they will hire a candidate or not.  Despite that, many candidates remain uncertain of how to optimise their body language.

In this article we’re going to examine how small changes can make a big difference to how you’re perceived by interviewers. This information is based on several decades of research by Albert Mehrabian of UCLA. His best-known finding was that observers’ feelings and attitudes are 7% determined by spoken communication. The rest falls to tone, manner and body language.

Most people spend countless hours honing their interview responses. While this is important, few devote even a fraction of that time to managing body language and non-verbal communication. In this article, we’ll focus on how you can capture the non-verbal 93% through subtle changes to body language and self-representation.

1. Smile

Remember that interviewers are looking for more than practical competence. They are also choosing a colleague and will take a person’s warmth, humour and personality into consideration. Additionally, because executive assistants are often the first point of contact for clients, the hiring manager is assessing your capacity to make a positive first impression. So smile, make it clear that you’re pleased to be there and build a friendly rapport with your interviewers.

 2. Stand Up Straight

Good posture seems increasingly rare in today’s world, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. A slouch is your body’s attempt to revert to the fetal position; it shows insecurity and anxiety. Good posture not only improves the impression you make on interviewers, it can actively enhance your level of confidence by allowing you to breathe more naturally and counteracting pain and fatigue.

 3. Make Eye Contact

When you’re nervous it can be tempting to look at the walls, the ceiling, the floor — anywhere but the interviewers’ faces! However, an averted gaze sends a series of bad messages. It indicates lack of confidence, weakens your communication and can even suggest dishonesty. What’s more, it limits your ability to read the responses of the panel, either positive or negative. 67% of people fail to make eye contact in interviews, so simply maintaining a steady gaze will set you apart.

4. Don’t Touch Your Face or Hair

Ensuring that your hair, makeup and clothing give the right impression is very important. However, that process should end as soon as you step into the interview. Once you sit down, don’t fidget or adjust your clothing, and refrain from touching you face or hair. These tics are noticeable and off-putting to anyone sitting across the table.

5. Develop A Firm Handshake

Hiring managers report that more than a quarter of candidates have weak handshakes. This is incredibly easy to correct and will transform your first impression. Meet with some friends a few days before your interview and ask them to rate your handshake. You may feel a bit silly, but it will pay off.

Till next time,

Isobel Burns

M.D.