Words are only part of the story, in the job interview process – and understanding body language is the best way to create success in your career. Body language is the sum total of all the signs we give off when we communicate, including gestures, posture, eye contact and more.
The seven strategies below will help set you up for job interview success.
Jaqueline Farrington is a Seattle-based communications coach who says that we have to make sure our body language is in sync, especially in the job interview process. She’s the author of The Non-Obvious Guide to Better Presentations, and she has worked with hundreds of TEDx speakers and executive leaders. She says that body language is a powerful indicator of emotion, intent and meaning.
“If your non-verbal cues are sending a different meaning than your words,” she shares, “there are two conversations happening. If you say, ‘I’m really excited about this next project,’ in a monotone voice, while slumped in the chair, arms crossed and eyes darting around the room, your body language has just betrayed you. In that scenario, your audience is going to be paying attention to your non-verbal cues, not your words,” Farrington warns.
Put it on video
Actions speak louder than words, but body language speaks loudest of all – especially in the job interview process. If you don’t understand how to create alignment and connection, the results can be damaging – if not catastrophic. “A wrong signal during an interview can cost you the job,” according to Tonya Reiman, author of The Power of Body Language. In a recent interview, Farrington, a classically trained actress with an MFA from Rutgers, says that rehearsal is the key to any presentation. But don’t stop with just recording yourself: you have to build awareness by watching yourself, too.
Avoid aimless movement
Farrington says that movements that are not attached to anything you are saying are “aimless.” Gestures, like fluttering your hands, don’t do anything to help tell your story. “I’ll see people who over-gesticulate – where they have a gesture for every single word,” Farrington shares. “We just don’t speak that way.” Is there alignment in your words…and in what your hands, arms and body are doing? MORE
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