Jeff Carter
Life is a riddle; unfortunately the answer's are not written here.

Body Language Speaks Volumes

As I am preparing for the “real world” job interviews will play a key role in getting a job. Sometimes it is more of what your body is saying than what you are saying verbally. It’s like what Peter Drucker once said “the most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” That’s because you can say one thing but your body will say another. Employers these days are not just looking at whats on paper but more of how you are acting during an interview.

Here are some tips for using body language to land a job.

  • smile often (shows humility, approachability, and friendliness)
  • sit up straight in the chair at all times, and do not lean back (shows proactivity and readiness to respond)
  • maintain strong eye contact with interviewer and keep the chin up (shows confidence)
  • not roll the eyes or shrug the shoulders (candidate lacks humility and may be hard to get along with)
  • not gaze out the window with a blank stare (candidate lacks focus and is easily distracted)
  • use hand gestures to emphasize words and to further communicate what is being said (shows strong communication skills)
  • smile with eyes wide open when describing skills (shows excitement, positivity, and enthusiasm for job role)
  • dress for success with updated outfit that matches the company’s dress code (shows proactivity in fitting in with the team and keeping up with the latest trends)
  • ensure good hygiene including clean and attractive hairstyle, fresh breath, and cologne/perfume (shows that taking care of oneself translates into taking care of the skills and requirements of the position)
  • not become too casual, even if the job interview goes well (candidate may become lazy, lackadaisical, or may not take the job seriously)
  • always exude positivity, humility, enthusiasm, and confidence (serves to convince the employer that if the candidate is this confident and positive about the job, perhaps he or she is indeed a good fit)

Another important aspect of body language is what the employers body is saying. By watching their body language you can sort of gauge how you are doing. According to an article by Frank van Marwijk on “this can serve as a warning at an early stage that you might be doing something wrong that you are not being aware of.” They go on to give you examples of what to be aware of.

Something else that most people might not think about is when and who you should look at during the interview. It is suggested that you obviously keep eye contact with the person who is talking to you or asking you a question. However it is when you go to answer this persons question you need to make eye contact with all the others who may interviewing you.

Lastly, it is important to offer a good firm handshake. A firm handshake will show that you are a confident person. However to firm of a handshake may portray you as an overly aggressive person. You should also shake hands with everyone that is interviewing you before and after. Also do not lean across the table to shake their hands. It is more proper to walk around the table and then proceed to shake their hands.


8 Responses to “Body Language Speaks Volumes”

  1. I like the layout of your Blog!.. Also the titles of your Blogs are intesting and make we want to read more! Good job!..

  2. […] scost1 – January 31, 2010 at 8:14 pm […]

  3. I feel now, after completing this assignment, I will be focusing on all the things I need to do and need to avoid doing. AHHH I’m scared and having second thoughts on graduating! Most of our body language tips we posted in our blogs are similar to each other. Is it normal to be this freaked out by graduating? I hope so!!

    You have “attention-grabbing” titles to your blog posts! They make me want to continue reading to see what you have to say. I also like your quote underneath your name. Pretty clever there, Jeff.

  4. Jeff,

    Interview skills are so important especially to all of the graduating seniors right now. I do not think a lot of people realize how much body language can say about an individual. I have been in a lot of interviews where more than one person was asking questions and I had to keep reminding myself to continue to make eye contact with everyone in the room. So I am glad to see that you pointed that out in your tips. Also, having a pleasant demeanor is extremely important. It is unlikely that an employer will hire someone who does not demonstrate the type of personality that is easy to work with. I have also interviewed students who thought because they were familiar with me they could come into the interview unprepared and in a casual manner. That is never okay. Great Post! -Talia

  5. […] Language Speaks Volumes by Jeff Carter Interview skills are so important especially to all of the graduating seniors right now. I do not […]

  6. Jeff,
    The tips that you listed are really good and important to keep in mind when you are interviewing for a job. My mom is the manager for recruitment for a hospital down in Savannah and it’s part of her job to interview people. I think a lot of people would be surprised at how much employers really do take body language into account not only in the interview itself, but also throughout the interview process. Many people don’t realize that there may be other things besides just the interview. I know at the hospital, once you are done with your formal interview, you are then taken on a tour. These tips are important to keep in mind throughout the entire interview process. Great Post!

  7. This was one of my favorite topics to write about over the semester because of the psychology it incorporates; your Peter Drucker quote really emphasizes this aspect of the interviewer, “the most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” It also adds a little philosophy to the mix. I also enjoyed reading your list of body language tips that might aid in the job search process. My favorite tip was the one about hygiene and style. Some people overlook these aspects because they think people won’t notice, but they’re wrong. All around good post, I enjoyed it.

  8. […] Body Language Speaks Volumes […]

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