DiceTV: Body Language Speaks Volumes

The Script

Cat: Now, come on. Sit up straight. No, don’t slouch. (To camera.) When you interview, you’re judged on more than what you say. You’ll speak volumes by how you stand, gesture, and sit. I’m Cat Miller, and this is DiceTV.

When you’re interviewing, pay as much attention to your physical presence as you do to your words. While using your voice to convey facts, use your body for everything else.

Start in the reception area, while you’re waiting to begin. Unwind, breathe deeply, and relax any part of your body where you feel tense. Then breathe naturally, and keep doing that throughout the interview.

When you walk into the interview room, stand tall, put your shoulders back, and smile. Act as if you belong there, and be ready to shake hands.

Eye contact’s important. You want to maintain it all through the interview - but without staring. Why? People who don’t make eye contact look nervous. Those who look down at the floor are implying they don’t want to be there. As hard as it can be, making eye contact helps you connect with the interviewer, build trust and lets you know how you’re coming across.

Emphasize your main points with deliberate arm or hand gestures. Don’t slant your head to one side or nod in agreement excessively. And, of course, do all this while appearing relaxed. How do you do THAT?

By practicing. Role-play with a family member or friend who can act as the interviewer. Got a video camera? Video your rehearsals and watch the tapes with the other person to get feedback. You’ll get better each time.

Once you learn to use your body language with the same confidence you use for speaking, you’ll become more persuasive during any interaction – whether it’s an interview, a one-on-one meeting, a presentation to a team, or a speech at a conference.

I’m Cat Miller, this has been DiceTV, and we now return you to your regular desktop.

Comments

  1. BY Mike says:

    Happy Christmas.

    Acceptable body language, etc. varies among cultures. Best you use what is appropriate.

  2. BY ugg boots says:

    Best you use what is appropriate.

  3. BY Medea says:

    I am wonder if all of those manerisms are more important than the proper skills needed. I has learn that sometimes people are so good and appropiate in interviews at bad after doing the job. We must learn to be honest and authentic, more than fake to impress. Otherwise will be more of the same.

  4. BY Leslie Gulledge says:

    Cat is right. The delivery of the message, that you possess the skills needed for the position, is what will separate you from the others who also have the skills. Practice until the delivery is natural, honest, and authentic.

  5. BY dc says:

    Having interviewed hundreds of people for quite a few different jobs, I can tell you that I always looked at the content and the body language as a way of determining if the person was right for the job for which I was hiring.

    Generally, you don’t have to worry about being ‘too good’! But what is ‘good’?

    Again, depends somewhat on the job. You need to be yourself – authentic, but ‘be the best you can be’ For programming jobs I hired for, ‘genuine’ is better than ‘slick’. When I hired salespeople… I wanted to see some slick – polish – along with the genuine.

    One thing holds true for most job – is projecting confidence that you CANdo the job. When you truly believe that – your body language will tend to reveal that.

  6. BY messup says:

    This has to be a joke!!! If you go into an interview for a job you have done before and are applying for a similiar set of job outlines, but in a different setting…you know what you’re talking about. If you’re going into an interview for a job you haven’t the foggiest what its about…your’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Likewise, if the interviewing panel is weak, it won’t make a bit of difference if your “body language” is great or not because those on the panel haven’t the foggiest notion what you’re saying as it applies to the job you’re interviewing for.

    Many cases, the company already has their eyes on the candidate they really want for the job, so what candidates say in an interview is being matched against their “pick” for the job.

    The best advice is…study for the interview…do your due diligence…you owe it to yourself and to the company you want to work for.

    If you start out in the interview with a “facade” your job in that company will continue to be a “facade.”

  7. BY EMF says:

    A number of years ago my department interviewed two people for a job. Both gave presentations. One person’s presentation revealed that she knew what she was talking about. The content of the other person’s presentation revealed (to me) that he did not understand the fundamentals. I am not a good observer of body language.

    My (then new) manager asked my opinion and I gave it. She replied that she pays more attention to things like body language. She hired the guy and, sure enough, one of our highly intelligent consultants asked me, “Why did they hire that idiot?”

    On the other hand, the manager wanted a good con-man. The quality of his work was unimportant so long as he was able to make it “look good”.

    Perhaps the moral here is that if you want to work in a place that appreciates quality work, show them a presentation of quality work. If you want to work in an environment that values appearance, concentrate on appearance.

    I now work in an environment where they appreciate quality work.

  8. BY Temuss says:

    I’ve done a tonne of interviews, both live and over webcam. The way a person carries themselves is almost as important as their knowledge. I’ll take a less qualified person that shows in the interview that they will find the info they need, learn quickly, and work in the team. Most of that is not conveyed in their words.
    I’ll take a quick and eager mind anyday…also, if I know they are gunning for my job it keeps me fresh and on my toes!

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