Sunday, January 13, 2013

How to Face an Interview - Body Language

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An essential part of non-verbal communication, body language is often a defining element in interviews. Positive body language goes a long way in conveying a good, suitable impression during an interview.
Here are a few tips that can help you project the right non-verbal message when facing interviews. Make sure you practice them well before facing an interview.
  • The first impression is often, the most lasting impression. So, the first thing that you need to take care of is your attire. Wear neat, clean and well ironed clothes. Opt for cool and light shades. For girls, hues of pink, purple, green and yellow are ideal. Guys can opt for lighter shades of cream, white and blue. Body odour and bad breath are a real no-no. A few dabs of perfume or a spray or two of a faint deodorant along with a few pieces of mint should do the trick. Never use strong, overpowering perfumes or deodorants. You've to just smell pleasant, and not a walking-talking room freshener. Prepare well and be on time. Reach the venue before hand, relax, have a cup of coffee. Tidy yourself and think about how you are going to perform instead of imagining how to difficult the interview is going to be.
  • When walking into the interviewer's room, keep your head straight, shoulders erect and exude confidence. Don't walk in with your head down, shoulders drooped or hands folded. You don't really want to give an impression of a dejected person, severely lacking in confidence, do you?! Feel confident, and you'll be confident.
  • If the interviewer offers a handshake, give a firm one. A firm handshake doesn't mean you try break his wrist. Don't go too soft either. A cold-fish (mild) handshake indicates fear, hesitation and lack of confidence. Greet you interviewer with a genuine smile and say something appropriate like, "Pleased to meet you.
  • When you take your seat, relax into the chair. Maintain an erect posture, be comfortable. There's no point slouching or shifting in your chair. You'll just end up conveying the wrong impression. Slouching shows your laziness and shifting position may indicate that you are not comfortable with the interviewer.
  • Very often, interviewees fold their hands across their body. Don't. Folded hands are considered a defensive move, a gesture to feel more secure. Let your hands lie in your lap or on the armrests of your chair.
  • Maintain a friendly expression to indicate positive attitude. Don't sit as if interviewer is going to rip you apart and swallow you. When answering questions, keep you voice clear and audible. If you don't understand a question, ask for a clarification. Don't answer questions with a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Always try to elaborate the answer with relevant examples.
  • Make sure you respond with your body language when the interviewer says something. Just a simple smile will do. This conveys your acknowledgment and will also quell the interviewer's apprehensions or doubts as regards your personality, if any.
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