Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What is Your Body Saying?

We spend a lot of time talking about getting ready for interviews.
  • Making sure your resume is in order
  • Making sure you have researched the company
  • Making sure you answer the questions appropriately
  • Making sure you dress appropriately for the position

There is one thing that we don't talk about much though.

"Body Language"

You are all ready to make a great impression and wow them with your background and skills. You have done your homework. You are prepared!

But before you ever open your mouth, your body has spoken volumes!

Here are some facts.

  • Only 7% of what we communicate is the actual words we speak.
  • 55% is visual (body language and eye contact)
  • 38% is vocal (pitch, speed, volume and tone of voice)

So, the problem is, our body may not be saying what we really feel.

For instance, if you keep your hands down at your side or in your pockets it could mean to some people you are insecure. Not making eye contact to some means you are being less than honest, when it could just mean you are nervous. Slouching in your chair, whether intentional or not, may be an indication that you are not really interested. Could be that you are just tired.

Okay, so what do you do?

You already have a lot to think about without having to worry about whether or not you are sitting up straight right?

The key is practice. Sounds kind of goofy but, how bad do you want that position?

Great speakers practice and even record their presentations. They watch themselves and see what they are doing wrong. They do it over and over again until it becomes natural for them to make eye contact, to use their hands when they speak, to have proper voice tone, and to have good posture.

Why can't people preparing for interviews do the same? Could you do a mock interview with someone and record it? Look at how you sit? How your voice sounds? Are you using your hands and making good eye contact?

Okay, I don't want you to be really animated, but don't leave your hands under the table or folded in front of you. Be confident!

People tell me all the time that they are just not good at interviewing or speaking in front of people. I understand that some people are better than others but, I honestly believe that you can get better if you practice.

When some one greats me for an interview with a confident hello and handshake and is confident in the way they stand and walk, I already have the feeling it's going to be a good interview. Their body language has spoken volumes about who they are before they have said a word.

By the way, If you want to practice, find someone besides your drinking buddies to do it with. They are generally not very good judges. At least mine weren't.

A lot of times, career counselors at colleges will set up mock interviews and they even have equipment to record them.

So, there it is, one more thing for you to work on so you can knock um dead in that next interview.

I've got one more, it's called the job description match quickie resume.

I'll save that one for next time.............

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