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Body Language and the Interview… Does it really Matter?

Body language is as much a part of your communication style as what you say verbally – it’s really about how you say it. Impressions are made within seconds of reviewing body language. For that reason, it is extremely important that you are aware of how you communicate non verbally before you go into an interview. Do you have any nervous habits such as tapping your foot, scratching your face, or twirling your hair? If you do, you are not alone… But it is important that you are aware of these habits so you can control them when you need to.

Non verbal communication refers to more than just nervous habits. According to Best-Job-Interview.com non-verbal communication accounts for over 90% of the message you are sending in your job interview! Your verbal content only provides 7% of the message the interviewer is receiving from you. Consider the handshake. While it may take less than 10 seconds to complete a handshake, in that time, the interviewer has already developed an impression of your character based on eye contact and the firmness of your shake. The same goes for eye contact and the way you sit in your chair. These things might seem small, but they say a lot about your communication style and who you are.

The blog Careerrealism points out that a weak handshake and lack of eye contact can leave the impression you are timid and insecure. A sincere and firm handshake with eye contact expresses professionalism and confidence. An overpowering handshake with a fixed gaze may come across as overconfident and arrogant. So, be cautious with your next handshake and start the interview off with a positive impression.

Here are some other tips to avoid common non verbal mistakes.

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Sue Quinlivan

Sue Quinlivan

Associate Director, Career Planning Center

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