Rabu, 25 Agustus 2010

Watch Your Body Signals: 6 Tips for a Better Interview

by Joe Turner, for Yahoo! HotJobs

Recent studies have shown that employers will form an opinion of you within the first 10 minutes of the interview. But here's the kicker, it's not always based on what you actually say; it's on something we term "body language."

For instance, 85% of what you communicate is not with words. It's through the tone of your voice, the way you sit, and a wealth of other messages that your body involuntarily sends. This is according to Greg Hartley, a body language expert who earned his chops with 20 years as an interrogator in the U.S. Army.

With this in mind, here are six tips on the art of nonverbal communication to give you a winning advantage in a job interview.

Be Real From the Start

When you greet your interviewer, smile a real smile that engages your eyes, and offer a firm handshake. Say something like, "I'm pleased to meet you," to provide a positive anchor.

Janine Driver, a body language expert also known on the Internet as the "Lyin' Tamer," states that maintaining good eye contact shows respect and interest. She advises that in the U.S., 60% eye contact is ideal. She suggests focusing on the upper triangle of the face from the left eyebrow across the bridge of the nose to the right eyebrow. Avoid staring at the other person's forehead, lips, and mouth.

Watch the Excess Energy

The more energy you have, the more you'll need to vent it. This often results in mannerisms Hartley terms "adapters." What this means is that excess energy gets dissipated into fidgeting, a definite sign that you're nervous or ill at ease. While it's easy to say, "Watch the fidgeting," Driver suggests you never touch your face, throat, mouth, or ears during an interview. The interviewer may feel that you're holding something back -- typically, the truth. To try to establish credibility, it's necessary to avoid touching your face.

Hand and Arm Movements

Driver says that clasped hands are a signal that you are closed-off. A palm-to-palm gesture with one thumb over the other thumb sends the signal that you need the interviewer's reassurance.

To come across as confident, receptive and unguarded, have your hands open and relaxed on the table. When your body is open, you project trustworthiness.

Avoid crossing your arms over your chest. When you do, you signal that you are close-minded, defensive, or bored and disinterested.

Crossing the Legs

Don't cross your legs. According to Driver, this posture creates a wall between you and your interviewer. It can also become a distraction when you keep crossing your legs back and forth. Crossed ankles are a no-no because you are signaling that you want to be elsewhere.


A straight posture is imperative during an interview. Pull your shoulders back and sit up straight. You'll give yourself a burst of confidence and allow for good breathing. This can help you to avoid, or at least reduce, feelings of nervousness and discomfort.

Finger Gestures

Bet you never thought you had to worry about your fingers during an interview. Driver suggests that steepling your fingers makes you look arrogant. She also says to never point your index fingers like gun barrels. These are the types of aggressive messages you want to avoid sending.

As a recruiter, Joe Turner has spent the past 15 years finding and placing top candidates in some of the best jobs of their careers. Author of "Job Search Secrets Unlocked" and "Paycheck 911," he has interviewed on radio talk shows and offers free insider job-search secrets at jobchangesecrets.com.

Job Info , Career Sources , Employment

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