1) As a Body Language trainer,
what do you think some of the common mistakes that people make or can
make during an interview session?
Well, to be honest a lot of
people do not understand that body language accounts for around 55% (up
to 80% in some cultures) and many fail to recognise why they need to
use it correctly. In the interview process it is important to come
across comfortable and confident. Any body language that may make you
fidget, nervous or uncomfortable will be noticed.
2) What are some of the body gestures that can really make someone stand out during a job interview? (e.g a firm hand shake)
Eye contact is important.
Building rapport with people is all about mirroring, which means to
copy ones behaviour. Not down to the last action however showing
similarities and fitting in. If someone shows a lot of eye contact it
is recommended to do the same, if they use little eye contact, looking
at them may come across offensive or uncomfortable. Using the same
words the interviewer uses will help deliver your message, using the
volume pitch and tempo of the interviewer’s voice will also help them
see similarities and likeness.
A firm handshake is
recommended again to start off with but depending on the interviewers
strength you may need to back off or use a firmer handshake to build
rapport. Again this is about mirroring. A handshake is a greeting and
is used to connect. If you have a strong handshake and the other person
doesn’t the first impression may be detrimental. Match the strength for
a perfect handshake.
Some customs do not allow
handshakes or have different greetings. If unsure watch the other
person first to find out what is appropriate. Especially for men who
are unsure if a woman will shake his hand. It’s always good to do what
the other person thinks is appropriate as this will help you make them
feel comfortable with you. Watch and learn as many say. If you see the
arm extending then you can then connect. If they wave then the wave is
3) Why do you think body language
plays a vital part in determining someone’s ability to get the job they
want? Do employers really pay attention to their interviewees’ facial
expression, body gesture etc.?
Many employers even after
looking at all qualifications and experience will still hire on a “gut
feeling”. They will be interested in you studies, and the experience
plays a part too however when it comes down to the decision it’s the
gut feeling. That’s why they have interviews. If it was purely
qualifications and experience they wouldn’t need to meet you. They
could hire off your resume.
So when it comes to body
language it is very important as this will help you provide the correct
gut feeling to the employer. By building rapport within minutes,
making the interviewer feel comfortable, portraying confidence, showing
interested language such as forward lean, eye contact, nods etc will
all help in coming across the way you want to come across.
4) Most people would get nervous, walking into an interview room. How do you over calm nervousness? Is there a way?
Well yes, there is a way yet
many people find it hard to do. The reason why people stress is that
they use internal dialog to create a nervous emotion. They tell
themselves several things until they start to realise they are nervous.
The biggest part of being in control is to use the internal dialog to
create a positive, confident attitude. Backing it up with body language
will help. Emotion is created by motion so if you find you are nervous
change the way you are holding your body. Place your arms behind your
back. This will help provide a feeling of authority and also will hide
those shaky nervous hands.
5) During a job interview; if an
interviewee realised that he had done something (body gesture
wise) that may have put his credibility and confidence in jeopardy, how
can he recover, given the time constraint?
Well, to be in control from
the start, don’t touch your nose, fidget, lean back, fold arms or
anything that seems to be negative is important. If something has
happened in the interview and you can apologise for it, this is a great
start. For instance if you shake someone’s hand but come in too far
away and it doesn’t seem to work out. To admit it and say “ sorry about
that lets try that again” and then do it again will reinforce you want
it to be a good meeting. Just make sure the second time you do it, it
is the one you want. This is the same with anything you may have done.
If you want to portray a different language, do it after the first
mistake, this will reinforce the right one you want.
6) What advice would you suggest to fresh graduates who are about to go for a job interview?
I would suggest not
fidgeting. Also to watch how long the interviewer looks at you and then
use this allotted time in looking back at the interviewer. Mirror
behaviour with what your level of authority allows you to do. (if
you’re not a manager don’t use managerial body language). Use the
words your interviewer uses as this will match verbal use and also help
your interviewer understand you. Nod whenever you can in agreement as
this will help the interviewer become positive of you. Lean a little
forward and tell yourself before the interview that you’re important
and that the interview will go just fine. The most important thing is
to be natural. Don’t pay too much attention on your body language as
you will miss things within the interview. Realise it is a communicator
and you can use it to tell the interviewer what you want.
If you have trouble remembering all that information one secret helps:
All you need to do is mirror behaviour and you will fit in.