While we show you the reality of many organizations in the form of reviews and ratings, it is necessary for us to ensure that our readers get maximum benefits from our blogs as well. Today, we are going to talk about a very important and powerful topic – body language, which plays a key role in the recruitment process of each and every organization out there.
There has been some awareness about the importance of body language in interviews but a complete and correct knowledge about this subject is a far-fetched idea for most of the people. We would aim to resolve all your queries and dilemmas in this article and for doing that, it is necessary to first understand the concept of body language in detail.
- What is body language?
- The importance of body language in job interviews
- Types of Body Languages
- Understanding interviewer’s body language and how to read it
Come, let’s dive deep and understand the mantra of body language!
What is body language?
This question is certain to be the epitome of multiple definitions. While it symbolizes a good posture for some people, it is solely related to facial expressions for the rest. This incomplete information can make you flustered and nervous (during interviews) which is definitely hazardous and to avoid this mess, it is a necessity to know all about interview body language.
Body language is a type of non-verbal communication in which physical behavior, as opposed to words, is used to express or convey information. Physical behavior includes gestures, eye movements, body postures, facial expressions etc.
Note: Body language is also known as kinesics.
However, do not confuse sign language with body language. They are completely different. The former has no grammar or syntax allotted to it. It is a language of one’s body which seems to speak volumes without even requiring our mouths to utter a single word. Fascinating, isn’t it? Body language can manifest itself through a number of ways which must be analyzed in order to turn it into our advantage in an interview. These ways are:
Body posture in body language, during an interview
Body posture is the way in which we position our bodies and arrange our limbs. It tells a lot about our energy levels, enthusiasm, and personality as a whole. This word describes the way we carry ourselves, and also a certain kind of position that our body takes like the different postures in yoga, ballet dancers or even soldiers.
Body poses in body language
While we pose for photographs (selfies primarily) all the time, body poses are more serious than they look in a face to face interview. They can be defined as the assumption of a particular attitude or stance, especially with a hope of impressing others and proving ourselves capable.
Have you noticed in the way you stand or place your hands in a certain position while talking to someone in authority? There is a reason behind it and you subconsciously want to prove your worth to that person. Besides, body postures are about our limbs and their positioning while body poses include the whole body’s stance.
Facial expressions in body language
Well, this one is the best and the most common way to analyze someone’s intentions. Facial expressions are the first and foremost instruments we use to get our message across to the interviewer. Anger, fear, fatigue, joy, confusion etc. are some of the expressions that we use on a daily basis. Expressions play a substantial role in forming a certain kind of image in front of our interviewers.
Gestures in body language
A gesture can be defined as a non-verbal communication through body actions which are primarily used to either support our speech or to replace it. Gestures include the movement of body, hand or face and they are quite common in all our activities. For instance, when we want to say no to the interviewer, we move our head from right to left and vice versa. Sometimes we convey our feelings properly through gestures, and not speech (such as nodding to agree!).
Handshakes in body language
It is surprising to see how our routine activities have a lot of hidden signs of a particular kind of body language. The way we shake hands with the interviewer or group discussion panellists. It is the best welcoming or introductory ritual. Handshakes aren’t identical and tend to differ from person to person. A self-confident person will always give you a firm grasp of their hand while a nervous person will not grasp your hand firmly.
Breathing in body language
Deep breathing is always advised by doctors. Not only does it regulate our blood flow and help us in taking important decisions subjectively, it lets the other person know about our calm and collected demeanour instantly. While we are in interviews or important meetings, it is of utmost importance to control our breathing by including full usage of diaphragm and abdomen regions.
Body motion in body language, during an interview
It is the motion/movement of the whole/parts of the body. Body movements like abduction, adduction, extension, flexion, rotation, and circumduction are included into this category. How we move our specific body parts in front of the interviewer, their directions and the repetition of the same can tell a lot about our body gestures.
Other physical movements in body language
In addition to all above-mentioned movements, there can be some other physical movements. People who cover their mouths while speaking/answering the interviewer’s questions, touch their faces too much, constantly fix their hair, don’t make eye contacts etc. give an impression of hiding something important. They are generally assumed to be insecure and self-conscious.
These are the factors which combine to form our body language and each of them should be dealt with precision and care.
The importance of body language in job interviews
Why is body language so important in job interviews? Most of us have an ambition in our lives, to have a fine job with a good salary. But how can we pass the first step? By clearing the interview, and this is the most difficult part. A lot depends on your qualifications and talent, true but what is also of utmost importance is our personality. Here comes your body gesture.
Recruiters are well-trained individuals/panels who pay a lot of attention to our body gestures and postures. *For example, Mr/Ms. ‘X’ has scored 99.8% in which is great! A confident smile can assure the interviewer that Mr/Ms. X is attentive and interested. *Hence, scoring great marks is always appreciable, but in order to guarantee a job further you need a good personality and a decent body language.
An ideal candidate must have his opinions sorted, priorities listed and a personality to compliment the answers. All of us can answer correctly, but the conviction and ease with which we speak them out matters a lot. You have to strike a balance between your words and actions to really stand out.
Fact: A study from 1960’s states that 55% of communication which lands up an individual a great job is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken. This might not be the exact number but what it does tell us is the fact that body gestures matter the most.
We hope that after this detailed explanation of body language and its ways of manifestation, you would have understood the concept. The age old saying of ‘First impressions matter’ is not some idle talk, but a clause which seems to be holding the ultimate truth of job interviews, meetings, and presentations.
Types of Body Languages
Body language can very well be called a subject in itself, as psychologists and scientists have found numerous ways to figure this puzzle out. According to this, there are two types of body languages, namely:
Positive body language
That kind of body gesture which is appealing, receptive and easy to confront is called positive body language. It places us in a condition where we are comfortable and likable.
Here are some of the ways in which positive body language can be employed:
- By keeping the body posture straight and relaxed
- By taking up the right amount of space
- By breathing slowly and steadily
- By taking notes
- By performing an appropriate handshake
- By smiling (and not grinning)
Negative Body Language
That kind of body gesture which consciously or unconsciously expresses negative feelings through the movements of a body is called a negative body language. Negative body gestures and postures are the biggest enemies of any interview candidate since it can cause the interviewers to believe that the candidate is arrogant, nervous, unlikeable and grim.
The various signs which indicate negative body language are:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Staring too much
- Looking at the watch, phone or any other object around you for a long time
- Poor posture, slouching, bending and crossing your arms
- Sweating, touching your face and hair and making unnecessary movements
Understanding interviewer’s body language and how to read it
We have touched upon the importance of body gestures for you as an interviewee. Now, coming back to how to read the interviewer’s or expert’s body language, here are some quick tips to help you out.
Paying attention to extreme behaviour
While interviewers judge on a general basis, most of them are cautious enough to understand that every gesture doesn’t imply the same thing for every person.
Judging on the basis of differences
There is a strong chance that the posture of a person changes in the course of the interview and they are trained to judge you on the basis of these differences that occur in your personality.
Connecting the gestures
Crossing arms doesn’t always mean that the candidate is arrogant, it might mean that he’s feeling cold. So, don’t worry too much about it.
It is about their own body language too
They are aware of the fact that they are not special humans and they can make mistakes too. They aim to give you a good experience because their company’s reputation comes at stake too.
With all this information, we are sure to have given you a complete resource of body language and its importance in interviews. If you think there can be something more to it, let us know in the comments section below!
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