Carrying yourself well in an interview

An interview is much more than reading over a resume and relaying facts to your potential employer. It is the first opportunity for them to see you and for you to give them a potentially great impression. Many of us may not realize it, but we usually have several nonverbal habits we do on a regular basis. These actions are especially heightened when we are nervous or anxious, so it is important to be on your best manners when on a job interview.

According to a report in the Business Blog at ayushveda.com, “25% of recruiters say they would reject a candidate if he were over-weight!” This means that one in every four interviewers could potentially turn someone down who is obese, most likely because people associate being fat with laziness, dependency, and other stereotypes that may or may not be true. I’m not saying you neeed to go out and make sure you have an awesome body before an interview, but it does help to look you best when we live in such a judgmental society. If you are over-weight or not, may sure to be aware of your posture, which can make you appear slimmer and well-poised.

Although there will likely be a lot of things going through your mind during an interview, there are a few simple nonverbal actions to remember beforehand that can help greatly.

Perfect posture

Good tips to remember during an interview are presented by Leena in her blog at mybandra.com:

1. Eye contact– This sounds obvious, but our eyes are the windows to our mind, and many people are unaware how bad their eye contact really is. Make sure to keep your eyes on the person you’re communicating with in order to let them know you are listening.
2. Facial expressions– Practice watching yourself in the mirror and how you would react under certain situations. I know I use dramatic facial expressions all the time that are very unattractive. Make sure to have a happy smile on your face and relax!
3. Gestures– Use these sparingly. Most hand movements and gestures are unnecessary and can make people nervous watching you move so much.
4. Personal space– Simple as it sounds, keep your respective distance from the people around you. Don’t try to invade the interviewer’s personal space, but at the same time do not position yourself so far away that you send a negative vibe.
 
Limit your gestures

Dr. Anne E. Beall stresses the importance of non-verbal communication for a successful interview in her excerpt on Ron Culp’s blog. She states that our eyes show “liking and interest.” This reminds me of the phrase, “actions speak louder than words.” Use not only your voice but your sight in order to show you are confident and eager to listen. Dr. Beall explains, “In one study researchers found that people tend to gaze more at someone who is giving them positive feedback but that they reduce their gaze when they are receiving negative feedback.” Maintain eye contact for a good amount of time, but not so long that he interviewer thinks you are creepy.

Follow some of these basic steps and improve your body language and non-verbal skills in order to have an excellent interview!

Information/sources used in this blog can be found at the following sites:

http://ayushveda.com/blogs/business/interview-tips-personality-body-language-in-interview/

http://blogs.mybandra.com/2010/01/18/interview-tips-5-important-interview-tips/

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/ron-culp-hire-learning/2009/12/non-verbal-communication-essential-to-effective-interviews.html

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Filed under PRCA 3711 Practicum

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