Friday, July 19, 2013

Winning Image at Job Interviews - Posture and Body Language

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From the moment you walk through the door, your body begins to speak; mind what it says! Step in with confident strides, walking like you would be doing towards a beautiful lady you have been “eyeing” for a while. I am sure you won’t do that walk with feet dragging, hunch back, and hands behind your back or folded across your chest; you literarily “puff up” and enlarge your personal bubble.

Let your face be lit up with a smile from that moment, giving a gentle nod (with “hello” or “good day”) to members of the panel as you walk towards them. Ideally, they stretch for a handshake; otherwise, your earlier modest greeting suffices. If handshake is extended, do:

Connect your hand with the person’s making the web of index and forefingers touch the other’s.
Form a firm but not crushing grip around the person’s hand
Maintain eye contact
Do smile
Pump the hands for a few seconds while your salutation lasts (“good day sir, glad to be here”) and release the grip.
Do same for every other person on the panel.

Clearly, there would be seat for you and you should be asked to take it. If you’re not asked, you ask “may I seat?” And when you do sit, relax, don’t slouch in the chair. (I need your imagination here please) Sit back into the seat with your back straight (not the straightness that makes it seem like your spine is made of concrete); place your hands on the arm of the chair, or on your thighs. If there is a table before you and it is close enough, you may want to close up the distance and lean towards it; you may place your palms on it (not beyond the wrist, and fingers tucked into one another). Talk to your body, say “Tunde, relax! You got this.” And your body will listen.

Cross your legs to feel more relaxed and in charge; it is good for you. Men can do it at the knee, while I advice the ladies to do it at the ankle- the royal style: it involves pushing your left leg from the knee slightly backwards and tucking the right one over the heel of the left, it forces the lady to tilt to the side a little; it looks classy, and that’s how her majesty, the queen, sits.

Now, when you respond to questions, raise your head up- not to the ceiling; do not look down or away from the panel (except for a momentary recollection of fact, or getting your thoughts together). When you look down and away, not only are you communicating lack of confidence, you also shorten your breadth by reducing lung capacity. Maintain good eye contact, but do not stare; staring means gazing into someone’s eyes for a sustained period. “Distribute” the eye contact as you speak, address everyone seated. Yes you can do all that!

How about lightening up the place with a smile now and then? The smile defuses tension in you , between you and the panel. Besides, you look more beautiful that way.

Gesticulating: reinforce your words with corresponding gestures. Don’t leave your hands on the table or your thigh all through. For instance, how about raising one of your hands slightly when you say this; “my focus is to increase productivity within my department…”

Next post is on Mind you e-Mage and After your Interview. What connection does your social media space have to do with your job interview?

This article series, “Winning Image at Job Interviews” was written by Boye Falonipe, Principal Consultant at Noir Enhancement-  Business Image and Protocol Consultant ( )
Boye is the author of the essential manual on Business Dressing “Succeeding with Appearance in Business and Career” ( )

Twitter: @NoirEnhancement
Facebook: Boye Falonipe

1 comment:

  1. lovely!!! so loving this job interview section...These are simple things we take for granted!, but they are so important!!..More please!!!!


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