Monday, January 7, 2013

Job Interview Tips - Your Body Language

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Preparing for a job interview has many great advantages. Researching the company and understanding their mission and goals can help you a lot in presenting yourself in a favorable way. In fact, doing that alone can set you apart from the other candidates who are probably just walking into the interview blindly. More than anything, you have to sell yourself during the interview but instead of coming out and had selling them on your skills, experience and qualifications, you have to be much more subtle than that.

During a job interview its often what you don't say that will make or break your chances. See, there is this "unspoken" language that makes up more than 80% of all communication. Its not the words you say but how you say it. Its what "the rest of you" says along with the words. This body language is non verbal but its critically important.

Whether you words are believable, whether they are heard and whether they make an impact will only be determined by your body language. So, how can you exude confidence in this unspoken language? Here are a few basic tips.

Firstly, you need to have a confident body posture. Look people in the eye and have a firm handshake. Just pretend to be confident and your body language will follow. When you are talking to the person(s) interviewing you, always look them in the eye but don't stare awkwardly into their eye for too long. Use hand gestures if you are uncomfortable with your hands and always keep your hands above the table.

Never slouch in your chair and never get too comfortable physically - don;t spread yourself out. Never yawn or stretch and if you are aware of any fidgeting that you do, make an effort to not do it. A great trick is to take a pen with you and use the pen in your hands as a distraction not to fidget.

One very important thing is that you have to establish rapport with the people in the room. There are many strategies for establishing rapport but doing it with your body language is probably the easiest during an interview. In NLP there is a strategy called matching and mirroring where you match and mirror your body language with those of the people you are communicating with. The result is that you will have rapport and you will be heard. You have to be subtle though and make sure its not so deliberate that everyone sees you are trying.

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