Body language tricks of highly successful people

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The role of body language during a job interview can largely dictate whether you will be successful in your job pursuit or not. An often cited study from the late 60's states that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken.

Although this breakdown might not be exact, it does emphasize the power of non-verbal communication to impress your potential employer.

Several Career counsellors say - You must at all times project confident and respectful demeanor not though words alone, but also subtly through your body language. These are some tips that can come handy during your next job interview. It's what some of the most successful people on this planet do:

A natural smile is the perfect way to begin

This doesn't mean a frozen beauty queen smile or a tense "from the lips down" politician smile. Rather, the smile that seems more spontaneous and natural, like when you meet a new person for the first time. It's a sign of warmth, curiosity and openness. Ultimately that's how you should see your interviewer - as a person you're eager to meet.

A reassuring handshake can set the tone

In addition to your smile, your handshake can set the tone for the rest of the interview. Wait for the interviewer to initiate and then shake their hand firmly and warmly. Maintain eye contact while introducing yourself and follow their cues on when to let go. Nothing's more awkward than an over-long handshake.

Staring doesn't mean eye contact

Employers are looking for unspoken clues in your face and body language, and your eyes tend to give away a lot. Looking away too much can show that you're evasive or untrustworthy. Staring, on the other hand, can show that you're aggressive or seem like you're trying to too hard. Throughout the interview, try to maintain eye contact naturally, periodically nodding your head. Basically, paying attention to what is being said rather than how you're doing it.

Get the right posture - It shows your confidence

Once you enter the interview room and you've already exchanged greetings with the interviewer; it's crucial that you maintain a good posture after you are seated. Stand and sit up straight (not too stiff though) and try not to cross your arms because hunching down simply indicates that you are nervous or you are suffering from low self-esteem.

The goal is to convey confidence and ease rather than stiffness or sloppiness. If possible, sit at an angle from the interviewer rather than straight across. This will feel more collegial and less confrontational.

Movement of your arms

Your arms or hands movements and positioning can indicate whether you are nervous or confident. Put your hands on your lap or loosely clasped on the table if you want to appear calm or confident. Some of the hands or arms positioning that you ought to avoid include:

  • Fiddling your face or hair (shows how nervous or anxious you are)
  • Putting arms above the neck (shows your uncertainty)
  • Touching your lips (shows you are lying), touching your nose (project the image that you are insincere),
  • folding arms across your chest (indicates that you are defensive or have something to hide).
As long as your hand movements don't become a distraction, feel free to use gestures as a way to support your answers. Just be cognizant that they aren't too emotive, nervous or over-the-top.

Nailing the job interview is important for one's own career and self-esteem, but as they say, there's no fun in achieving the desired goal as much as there is in the journey you take to achieve it.
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