Body Language to Ace the Job Interview

Interviewing has been a part of my livelihood as a recruiter for the past 12 years. I have interviewed thousands of professionals and noticed that interviewees are always communicating with their body language. I have made it part of my job to study this form of communication and share what I have learned.

Body language communication is always present and informs me when a candidate I am interviewing is being genuine, nervous, inauthentic, or any other emotion or way of being. This and more have been perceivable to me and others who take on the role of interviewer. I classify “Way’s of Being” as more than just emotions, but rather a vast set of experiences that others perceive you as. They include experiencing someone as authentic, passionate, reliable, professional, trustworthy, and more of which tell me a human beings state in that moment.

“Although they are generally not aware of it, many people send and receive non-verbal signals all the time. These signals can indicate what they are truly feeling.” Source: 2007

Body language is in the music to the words we speak. If you are speaking the words that you think sound good, your body language will indicate their authenticity. When your music (body language) matches what you are saying, you are perceived as authentic and have the best chance of getting the job you are seeking. If your appearance (hair, nails, attire, and general grooming), which also communicates a body language, is not in alignment with what you are saying, you diminish your chances of landing that job.

“The technique of ‘reading’ people is used frequently. For example, the idea of mirroring body language to put people at ease is commonly used in interviews. It sets the person being interviewed at ease. Mirroring the body language of someone else indicates that they are understood.” Source: 2007.

In an interview, a simple technique to getting the job offer is to use your body language to “mirror” that of your interviewers. Humans are attracted to those like themselves, consciously and unconsciously. You are appealing to the interviewer’s unconscious mind when you mirror their body language.

Mirroring takes practice to perfect and is a skill that will payoff in many areas of your life. Mirroring is when you hold the same or similar body-pose as the person across from you. If they are sitting up, then you sit up. If their legs are slightly apart then your legs are slightly apart. Their brain will unconsciously make them feel better about you when you mirror. Moving your body slowly to match theirs makes it feel more natural for you and your interviewer will feel better about being with you.

Practice interviewing with a friend and notice what your body language is saying. Of course you must listen to what others hear your body language is saying, since they are on the other side of the table, reading it.

Get clear and specific feedback from your interview buddy on what they you’re your body language saying? When you get the feedback, trust it, take actions to improve upon it and repeat the practice. Interviewing well takes practice and you can teach your body to speak the language of getting hired.

Lorne Epstein, author of You’re Hired! Interview Skills to Get the Job, the ultimate guide for job interview preparation, and designer of Inside Job, a professional networking platform for Facebook.

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