Interviews and Selections

Interview - Wrong Body Language while answering the questions

When trying to communicate through a language barrier, it’s natural to use gestures as a way of illustrating your point. We assume it’s helpful since our words are being visually reinforced. Hand motions are, however, culturally relative.

Consistent body language provides an opportunity to convince the interviewer of your worth as a candidate, as up to 93% of human communication is actually conveyed via body language. In addition to gestures, facial expressions, and posture, volume, and tone of your voice play a role.

Breathe deeply, and speak on the exhale

One way to soothe interview nerves is to breathe properly. Reiman, Wood, and Glass all recommend focusing on the breath as a vital part of the interview process. Glass recommends inhaling when the interviewer asks you a question, then speaking on the exhale, following the airflow.

"Deep breathing engages our parasympathetic reaction, which calms us down," Reiman says. She recommends taking 10 deep, diaphragmatic breaths before the interview because it "reduces our heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormone level."

Don't go for direct eye contact

Instead, go for "direct face contact," Glass recommends. A more effective way to ensure you look interested and engaged is to look different parts of someone's face every two seconds, rotating from eyes, to the nose, to lips, so you're never just drilling into the interviewer's eyes.

Use hand gestures while speaking

"When you’re really nervous, you tend to want to hide your hands because they express your anxiety," Wood tells Mashable. Keeping your hands hidden can be misinterpreted as distrustful behavior.

Show your palms

When your palms are up, it signals honesty and engagement. The limbic brain picks up the positivity, which will make the interviewer comfortable, Wood says.

"It’s one of the reasons we shake hands, to show the open palm," Wood says. "It’s so tied to survival instincts ... If we don’t see open palm gestures, it puts us on our guard."

In general, upward-facing body language, such as open palms, smiles, and straight posture, also makes you look energetic, Glass says.

Plant your feet on the ground

Wood and Reiman both recommend keeping feet firmly the ground. Women should never cross at the knees, but rather the ankles, "as this allows them to switch if necessary without being obvious."

There's also a scientific benefit to keeping your feet grounded.

"It’s not impossible, but it’s difficult to answer highly complex questions unless both of your feet are on the ground," Wood says. "It has to do with being able to go back and forth easily between the limbic reptilian brain to the neocortex brain."

In layman's terms, planted feet can help you go between creative thought and highly complex rational thought.

  Zeynep Ogkal

  Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019       597 Views