Your body language says a lot about you and can engender positive or negative feelings in those around you. If you are getting ready to go on a job interview, you want to appear confident and open rather than shy or off-putting. Angela Podolsky, a body language expert with Kinesic Intelligence in Canada, notes that 93 percent of a person's communication is nonverbal. Improve your nonverbals and present your best self with the following strategies.
Start the Day Off Right
The first thing you should do when you wake up in the morning is give your body a big stretch. Take some deep breaths, stand tall and have a positive conversation with yourself in the mirror. If you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, do your best to turn your bad attitude around fast. Practice smiling in the mirror, and then go ahead and put that smile to good use with every person you encounter that morning. This is especially important when you reach the location of your job interview. You never know who you might meet. The person in the elevator could be the person interviewing you later. Make sure your smile and friendliness are genuine. You don't want to come across as fake or cheeky. It's best to put your positive cap on the minute you leave home and keep it on until you finish the job interview and leave the building. Like most people, you probably don't like being judged, but people are judging you the moment you enter the door, and you want to give the best impression possible.
Before and During the Job Interview
While you're waiting to start your interview, be cognizant of the way you're sitting and your posture. You might have to sit in a waiting room or a conference room. Don't slouch or lay your head down. Sit up confidently and keep your back straight. Even if you think no one is around, you might be caught off-guard by someone suddenly coming into the room, and it could be the hiring manager himself rather than a secretary or assistant.
During the actual job interview, continue to be mindful of your posture and your hand movements. You want to keep your hands visible. If you gesture while speaking, that's fine, but don't go over the top with lots of fast, hurried movements or pointing your fingers at the interviewer. Podolsky recommends revealing the palms of your hands rather than keeping your hands face down. If you are a fidgeter and feel your hand movements would be distracting, keep your hands crossed in a relaxed manner on the table in front of you with palms facing up. Other helpful nonverbal tips include keeping your feet planted on the floor, maintaining constant eye contact and keeping the area free in front of you.
How you react nonverbally can have a great impact on your performance during a job interview. Be open and confident, and show the hiring manager you're a person he wants to add to the team.
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