Friday, January 11, 2013

Interview Preparation - The Importance of Body Language

1. Top 10 interview questions and answers 2017

2. Top 14 tips to prepare job interviews
Body language is an extremely important element of interview. Whilst most people would agree with this statement, few may recognise the extent to which their body positioning, gestures and the tone of their voice has on success. Research quoted by the University of Kent Careers Centre suggests that impressions are made up of the following:
55% Appearance (dress, facial expressions and body language) 38% Tone of Voice7% What is Said.
If these percentages are accepted, then 93% of getting a job is related to what is done, rather than what is said at interview. This is good news because with some extra thought about body position and careful attention to messages sent without words you can dramatically impact your ability to secure the job of your dreams.
The visual and non-verbal messages that we send are shaped by how we sit, walk, act, make eye contact, speak and how confident we appear to be. Messages are sent by each of these behaviours whether intentional or not. Below are some tips that will buttress the answers given at interview and assist in advancing performance at interview.
  • Sit upright in the chair: Take a few moments to get comfortable before starting. Make sure not to slouch or lean too far back as this can suggest that you are far too comfortable with the whole interview process. Hands behind the head are a definite no, get the job first before making such bold statements.
  • Use Open Postures: Keeping the arms open, elbows away from the body, hands not touching and legs uncrossed sends positive messages and help arguments to be more powerful and persuasive. This is the opposite of closed positions (crossed arms) which sends defensive messages and can negatively impact what you are saying.
  • Move your hands: Using your hands to support the answers given shows confidence and makes listeners believe you know what you are talking about. Too much gesticulation can have a negative impact, so it is balance that is important.
  • Eye Contact: Looking the interviewer in the eyes shows confidence and interest. Some suggest that an imaginary triangle should be envisioned on the interviewer's forehead. Looking at the centre of the triangle keeps your eyes in the right direction. Looking at the interviewers mouth can suggest you are flirting as can gazes any further south.
  • Listen Actively: Show interest in the statements and questions asked by the interviewer. Nods and Mmms have been shown to extend the length of time people speak and to promote a feeling of connection.
  • Equal Grip: Shake hands by mirroring the intensity of the grip from the interviewer. Too hard and you can be seen as overly confident and dominant. You do not want to be too weak either so give back exactly what you receive.
  • Tone of Voice: Speak at a natural rate and with enthusiasm and interest. Speak too fast and you will seem nervous and flaky. Take a breath before answering questions, be concise and take your time.
  • Steer Your Body: Point your knees or your feet at the interviewer. This says that you are focusing on them and that they have your complete attention.
Below are some other common gestures and their meanings. Possibly most interesting is the reverse effect each can have when exaggerated. Listed below is the gesture followed by its interpretation when moderate and when exaggerated. For example, forward lean/friendly/hostile means that a forward lean is considered friendly when moderate but hostile when exaggerated.

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