Emotional Body Language in a Job Interview
Research on emotional body language is rapidly emerging as a new field in cognitive and affective neuroscience. This article reviews how whole-body signals are automatically perceived an understood, and their role in emotional communication and decision-making in a job interview
More than 90% of the job interview is conveyed by non-verbal means. You did all the homework for your interview. You know everything about the company, their vision, management style, what skills you have that would benefit this company, and where you expect your career to be in 10 years. Briefly you know all the correct answers to 249 interview questions, but at the end of the day what really counts is the main question: did you have good chemistry? Can they trust your message, and what you can do in order to make sure that they will?
We polish our verbal skills for an interview, but few of us give much consideration to their non verbal communication and body language skills that support the verbal messages and can make the deferent.
Up-to-date research has proven that the large majority of messages are received in varying levels of effectiveness. The impact you make on others depends on what you say (7%), how you say it (38%), and by your body language (55%).
Faces belong to bodies
According to article in NATURE REVIEWS NEUROSCIENCE 06
From our encounters with others, we are just as familiar with emotional body language as with facial expressions. Emotional body language is perceived as a means of influencing others, for which social psychologists have provided detailed descriptions. During the past few decades, some isolated psychological studies have appeared5,27, but neuroscientific experiments on how humans perceive bodies have been reported only recently. A challenging question in the wake of the long-standing debate about whether the brain is functionally specialized to process faces is whether there is also an area in the brain that is specifically activated by seeing body movement or posture. Are we as expert at interpreting body language as we are faces? There are areas in our brain that respond to facial stimuli, but is there a corresponding area in the brain that is dedicated to bodies? Are the same areas involved in perceiving facial expressions and Emotional body language? Are consciousness and attention resources needed for processing bodies and recognizing body movement and posture? Some of these questions can already be answered.
We can read other thoughts like open cards. The thoughts in our minds transfer into feeling that get an emotional expressions that our body pronounces in thousand of gestures, postures, and expressions.
The human body can produce over 700,000 unique movements. These movements have been partitioned into about 60 discrete and symbolic signals and around 60 gestures, postures, and expressions.
Body language can be used to improve your negotiation skills, your presentation ability, and in different social interactions, including a job interview.
Reading body language is a valuable key at a job interview, it gives you more tools than you could have. To succeed over other confronts you must be attentive to what silent body gestures you are giving off, you also need to be aware of the interviewer’s body language.
When we think about the ways in which cultures differ in job interview, we usually use the iceberg analogy. The aspects of culture that are immediately apparent, like food, language, customs and manners, are above the surface. Those aspects of culture that are more hidden, that we are less consciously aware of, are below the surface. They include:
1. Communication style.
2. Interpersonal relations.
3. Attitude toward authority.
4. Orientation towards time.
5. Attitude towards space.
6. Thinking style.
7. Tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty.
8. Orientation to the environment.
9. Values, beliefs and basic assumptions.
If it is a natural form of communication, why do I need to learn it?
Only a small percentage of the population perceive the non-verbal signs at the conscious level and can use body language as a tool to “read” others and to present themselves and their messages in a reliable way. These people can create empathy, detect lies within seconds, and feel immediately when it’s the right time to close a deal. Others can learn it; many politicians practice body language techniques and use personal training for these purposes. Similarly, police and security experts are trained to understand body language as a tool to detect lies. In the corporate world, body language interpretation is a key tool in the interview and hiring process of new employees. Some companies even have a body language expert present during interviews and as part of a negotiation team for large-scale deals.
How to start? Entering with long strides
Go to the interview and imagine that you already got the job before the interview even begins. Positives thoughts transmitted by your body into positive gestures.
The interview starts the moment you step into the room. Walk in tall, with a smile on your face. Make sure your hands are free and offer it to the interviewer. Make the handshake strong and firm, pumping hands once or twice, then releasing.
Entering with long strides characterizes a person with long-term goals and the willingness to take risks.
Remember that we never get a second chance to make the first impression.
Keep on open body – “I have nothing to hide”.
Straight, open hands forming one line with arm, shows honesty and openness.
Keep open body posture and appropriate eye contact. Seat yourself at a reasonable distance from the other person.
Most of the people find it too hard to lie while their hands are open. This message is most important as a first impression.
• “The eyes are often called, ‘the windows of the soul’ as they can send many different non-verbal signals.
• Eye contact often increases significantly when we are listening, and especially when we are paying close attention to what the other person is saying.
• Less eye contact is used when talking, particularly by people who are visual thinkers as they stare into the distance or upwards as they ‘see’ what they are talking about.
• Locked ankles
When a person makes very little eye contact, they may be feeling insecure. They may also be lying and not want to be detected; it also could be as a result of coulter behavior.
A good smile has the power to say, “I’m a happy, confident person and I’d love to work here”. Practice a smile that puts people at ease. It’s just as much your responsibility to ensure that there is a relaxed atmosphere during the interview.
Where would you like me to sit?”
Wait for the interviewer to direct you to a seat. You can ask the interviewer, “Where would you like me to sit?”
Try to avoid locking your ankles even if they are hidden from the eyes of the interviewer. It’s a blocking and negative gesture that affects your state of mind.
As a rule it is difficult for most people to control their legs since they are far from the head. This is even difficult for those people who are extremely aware of body language.
Don’t forget, people want to feel special. They want to feel as though you are speaking to them directly or that they are the most important person in the room during your conversation.
Mastering the secrets of the body language might be complicated. Body language is a visual mode of communication- you cannot learn it just from reading- you need to see it. Body Language Cards do just that; they flood your consciousness with the visual gestures and connect it to its meaning.
Most important: It works!!!
Body Language Cards are used as an integral part for professional body language courses; they are practiced as an educational devise in corporations; Body Language Cards are even used in psychology courses in colleges all over the world as they were recently translated in 4 additional languages.
You can learn more in www.bodylanguagecards.com
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