Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter encourages you to NOT overemphasize your body language preparation when you interview.
I think a lot of job hunters spend way too much time focusing on body language. It’s as though if they mirror the body language of the interviewer, that person will just simply turn around and magically hire them! Nothing could be further from the truth.
The fact of the matter is, whether you mirror the body language, mirror the speech of the interviewer, or doing the tricks people think they are learning to manipulate an interviewer, you’re not going to get hired.
I can tell you what won’t get you hired from body language. And that is if you are in an interview and you make some ridiculous gestures to copy the interviewer, that is to get you hired.
Frankly it’s gross.
You can mirror body language to your hearts content but the fact is if you can’t answer questions, you won’t be hired.
You can sit with your arms folded in front of you and get hired. And I want to encourage it because even the most beginner interviewer looks at that and views you as being shut down, closed off, detached… Nothing complementary about that.
I encourage people to speak with their hands as long as they are not so demonstrative that they are flashing all over the place. If anything, if you speak with your hands, and you use them as emphasis points, never go across the middle of the your chin. Do nothing to cross the facial line.
When all is said and done, what is going to get you hired is whether you can answer questions well and demonstrate enthusiasm, power, passion and self-confidence. That more than anything is going to get you hired.
There are a few little tricks I’ll give you:
The first one is that when you shake hands, use a firm handshake but make eye contact with the interviewer. A smile on your face when you shake hands goes a long way toward breaking down the walls between you and the interviewer.
I know culturally with some people, who are raised to be polite, and not make eye contact, this is US-centric advice. Different cultures and different nations have different beliefs.
If you are interviewing in the US, I contact, firm handshake and a smile on your face goes a long way toward starting the interview off well.
Some people believe you should be sitting upright and leaning slightly forward like an obedient schoolchild hoping to be called on in class. I don’t encourage that. I prefer that you sit comfortably in his seat with one leg crossed over the other properly (you will know what I mean by that), and confidently answering questions.
From there you can use your hands to confidently emphasize points as you answer questions.From there you can go point by point by point pretty easily. You should try to stay away from your face and eliminate distracting gestures because they stop listening and start watching what you’re doing. By not paying attention, they tune you out.
Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change 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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