It’s Not What You Say

It's Not What You Say
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It’s Not What You Say

  • March 10th, 2015
  • CategoriesBlog

There’s no doubt about it, the interview is one of the most important aspects in the hiring process. Developing strong interview skills is paramount in pointing your job search on the road to success. But did you know, only half of what matters in an interview is what comes out of your mouth? In a job interview situation, you are presenting a total package, from what you choose to wear to how you present yourself. It’s not necessarily what you say, but how you say it.

Does Non-Verbal Communication Matter?

We all know the value of a firm handshake, but does body language and other non-verbal communication really make a difference? Experts say yes. What you say is only a small part of the bigger picture. Interviewers are observing all aspects of a candidate. Straight posture, friendly and open gestures, and a relaxed yet confident demeanour all say a great deal about you.

When you come into an interview environment, enter the space with confidence: chest held high and strong posture. Shake the interviewer’s hand firmly and briefly, maintaining a few seconds of eye contact. Once seated, hiring pro’s recommend sitting comfortably against the chair back and holding onto that good posture.

Showcase You at Your Best

Non-verbal communication is worth paying attention to. Not only will the right choices put your interviewer at ease, they’ll also help you make a great first impression and promote your own relaxation and confidence–giving you that extra boost.

During the interview, feel free to use your hands to gesture as you speak. Keeping your hands hidden or stiffly in your lap can connote nervousness or can make you come across as closed-off. Open palms are preferred when gesturing, as these give a sense of welcoming approachability. Fists or sharp motions such as pointing can be perceived as aggressive. Keep your facial muscles relaxed and lively. Allow your expressions to reflect your words. Essentially, you want to make positive physical choices, ones that reflect who you are as a person and as a potential employee.

Body Language Do’s and Don’ts

DO sit up straight. Good posture is definitely on top of the list of do’s! Even if it feels unnatural and uncomfortable, slouching will cause you to appear lazy and prevent that put-together look you want to exude.

DON’T stare at your interviewer. While it’s important to have consistent eye contact, you want to avoid staring. A great tip is to change your focus to different areas of the person’s face. This prevents locking directly into his or her eyes, which can make an interviewer uncomfortable.

DO walk with confidence. When you enter the interview room, this is your chance to make your very first impression. Make the most of every moment you have. Your stride should be purposeful and full of energetic confidence. This sets you up immediately to impress.

DON’T clasp your hands behind your back. This type of body language can make you seem closed off or inflexible. This posture says “I’m not adaptable to change.” It can also indicate that you have something to hide.

DO smile naturally, and often. Your interview should show that you are a pleasant and upbeat person–someone they would want to work with.

…It’s How You Say It

With all this talk about body language, it’s important to mention also that tone of voice and presentation mean a great deal in an interview session. Speak with your natural tone of voice. If you have a tendency to speak quickly, you may want to consider slowing down your vocal patterns a bit to ensure you’re understood. Be sure to maintain an appropriate speech volume for the situation: not too loud, not too soft. If you focus on offering genuine, well-thought out answers to interview questions, the rest should flow easily and naturally.

Now that you’re interview savvy, are you ready to find your dream job? If you’re seeking employment, On Line Recruitment and Labour Hire can help. Contact us today and find out more about the beneficial and free service we offer job seekers.

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