Fidgeting, avoiding eye contact and slouching in your chair? Chances are a potential employer will deem you untrustworthy and unmotivated. Body language and non-verbal communication can often say more than our words, offering insight into how open, engaged and confident we are in our abilities and social skills. Assessing body language is crucial for both an interviewee and a recruiter, so since we’ve garnered award-winning experience in the recruitment industry here at Primo Associates, we’ve come up with the 5 ways body language can affect the recruitment process to help you ace those interviews and land your dream job.
Actions speak louder than words, as the saying goes, and first impressions are no different. In fact, being aware of your non-verbal communication traits and understanding the affects of your body language on first impressions can be the difference between a receiving a polite rejection and actually landing the job. If you’re struggling to come to grips with how your body language translates to those around you, it’s always a good idea to conduct a practice interview with a friend, or go to a workshop, since there are myriad of valuable training courses offered by coaches who specialise in the interview process both in person and online.
Voice and Language
While the sound and frequency of your voice isn’t exactly something that you can control, there are ways of exuding confidence and knowledge and expressing this through your voice. Take a deep breath before answering a question to calm those niggling nerves; this will help you avoid stumbling over your words or talking too fast. Speaking slowly and assertively and using slow movements suggest that you’re comfortable and in control. The tone of the language you use is also vital, if you’re too formal you can come across as lacking personality and enthusiasm, but if you’re too colloquial with your speech you might not be taken seriously. Striking a balance of friendly and professional is sure to help your chances of success.
Dress and Behaviour
According to The Works, when meeting new people 55% of us will assess that person based on their attire and consequently their attitude. Similarly, body language expert Patti Wood claims that interviewers will know within the first 10 seconds whether they will hire you or not. So from straightening your clothes and brushing your hair to standing up straight and perfecting the pressure of a handshake, dress and behaviour allow an interviewer to navigate your agenda and the strength of your character from the get-go. Try pulling your shoulders back and pointing your body in the direction of the person you’re walking towards, this will signify confidence. Sincerely smiling will also show you’re open and feeling positive about the encounter.
Maintaining eye contact is the best way of ensuring that you come across as engaged in what your interviewer has to say and that you’re paying attention. Most people believe that if you’re avoiding looking someone in the eye that you have something to hide and this can be disconcerting for your interviewer. If you’re talking with more than one person, giving each person a few seconds eye contact, with emphasis on whomever asked the question, will further your impression of being poised and self-assured.
Aligning your body language with your interviewer’s is an easy way of connecting with them and opens up ground for mutual understanding and respect without seeming too bold. Subtle gestures like nodding while keeping your pose open and relaxed will send an inviting message, as oppose to crossing your arms or slouching, which can portray disinterest or defense. Although being nervous is totally normal, the most important thing to remember is to exercise a calm and friendly demeanor and to always make sure you’re prepared.
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