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Body Language Mistakes | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

Ep 638 Things can wrong fast if you make any (or all) of these mistakes. 



Body language is often misunderstood by job hunters who think it is a way to hypnotize people into hiring them for jobs that they are not qualified for. Follow the pen. You're getting drowsier and drowsier! You get the idea. It doesn't work that way.

The way it works is that your behaviors are either congruent in emphasizing the points that you are trying to make or incongruent. And, as a result, you turn off people. I'm using 2 exaggerations. The 1st 1 is congruent; the 2nd 1 is incongruent. I may be speaking very calmly but time flailing my arms to illustrate incongruent behavior. I want to highlight a few of these behaviors that you just need to be aware of so that in this way, you don't shoot yourself in the foot and hurt your candidacy.

The 1st one is fidgeting. Have you ever talk to just someone who is bouncing around, they're just all over the place and they're just driving you crazy by fidgeting all the time? Fidgeting is a turnoff. Don't do it. If you're feeling nervous, better to use your hands to emphasize points, but never block your face.

The next thing is what is called pointing or chopping. It they are hard, demonstrative gestures that really want to be exaggerating what you are saying versus something that I use all the time when I speak, using your hands to emphasize things. Never go across your face under any circumstances. Never should your hands frame in your face. There are very few circumstances (and most of you would feel comfortable exercising them). Don't do the strong exaggerated kinds of things that look too aggressive.

Your posture needs to appear confident.. Rather than sitting in the chair hunched over looking bored and disinterested, or the reverse, appearing too cocky and looking as though you don't have a care in the world and the person who you're talking with is an idiot, just be aware of your posture because both extremes can be costly.

You don't want to break, eye contact and talk every which way. If the person is profoundly ugly, you want to talk to either the immediate left side and right side of their face. You want to appear as though you are maintaining eye contact, even when you are. You want to do it with one stipulation – – you don't want to look as though you are staring. People who stare look like they are crazy. No one wants to hire a crazy person who was staring at them. The one who looks like they are never going to blink.

The last one I'm going to bring up is keeping your arms folded. More often than not, folding your arms is done by individuals who are "closed" or, "withdrawn." Sometimes it is done by people who are overweight and find it hard to sit in the chair. Rather than do that, again, keep your hands in front of you or to the side framing your body, that will go a long way toward avoiding being misunderstood.

Again, being hired isn't done because because you've done or not done this. You need to have the skills to do the job and create trust and rapport with the interviewer that you are the solution to what they are looking for. However, if your behavior is a turnoff, there is no way you're going to get a job.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is an executive job search and  leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions. 


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