Speaking Without Words

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Speaking Without Words

No matter how prepared you may feel for an interview, your body language could say otherwise. As you want to leave a strong, positive impression during the interview process, it important to not only speak the part and dress the part, but also act the part. The manner in how you act and portray your body language will tell a lot about who you are and your opinions. About 55 percent of your communication is shown through body language; tone is 38 percent and the literal words only account for seven percent of the whole message. 

Set yourself for interview success with the body language tips below:

  • Eye Contact: A successful interview includes making eye contact. You have made it in the door because of your resume; now it is time to match your resume with your presence. According to charisma coach, Cynthia Burnham, many feel uncomfortable holding eye contact once both parties have made a connection. Especially in an interview, it is necessary to move past the slight discomfort and continue to connect with your interviewer.
  • Posture: According to a recent survey, 30 percent of hiring managers found bad posture as a major faux pas in interviewing. While it may be comfortable, it is not professional. Leaning back or slouching may seem lazy and leaning forward may be a bit aggressive. If your intention is to portray confidence and professionalism, sitting up straight is a necessity. 
  • Fidgeting: Whether it is tapping your foot or twirling your hair, these nervous actions may negatively impact your interview. Do your best to relax, ignore the desire to fidget and focus on the interviewer across from you. Allow the focus to be on what you are saying, not what you are doing.
  • Smile: A smile will open the interview in a positive manner. Lots may be clouding your mind during the interview, whether it is how to answer questions or what is on your schedule for later that day. A smile will encourage a positive, personable attitude. That speaks volumes when hiring managers are deciding whether or not you are the best fit.
  • Handshake: There is the right balance between the overly strong and weak handshake. A handshake will likely open and/or close your interview, so a happy medium will either open or close with a positive impression. 
  • Arm Placement: The way you place your hands and arms when sitting at the table can demonstrate your attitude during the interview. Crossing your arms may give a sign of defensiveness or resistance. Open arms demonstrate a greater sense of approachability. It is also important to keep your hands above the desk; keeping your hands on the chair or your lap may make you seem stiff. Periodic gesturing is also helpful when it seems natural. It shows you are centered, calm and interested in helping.

When is all said and done, it is important to leave a positive impression not only with your words, but also with your actions. Whether you feel the interview went perfectly or with room for improvement, it is important to keep your composure and leave a strong, confident impression as you leave the office. You never know who will see your actions.


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