When Networking or Interviewing, Body Language is one of the most important business skills, yet it is often overlooked. Statistics estimate that more than 50% of our success with other people is driven by body language. Therefore, it¹s extremely important to insure that it matches the verbal message.
My segment this week is shared by Jenni Prisk, a leading expert in public speaking and communication skills. She has coached hundreds of individuals and corporate teams in the United States and internationally. Jenni is a dynamic motivational speaker and provides a wealth of information when it comes to body language.
So together we will take you through some of the do's & don'ts when you are either networking or in that most important interview.
Do: Make eye contact
This is the best way to show you’re paying attention and engaging in the conversation. It doesn’t mean that you should stare down the person with whom you are speaking. If you have more than one interviewer or are in a room full of people while networking, make sure you make eye contact for a few seconds with each person involved in the conversation.
Don’t: Slouch or Move Around
Body language indicates our confidence level. Sitting hunched forward, or lounging can make you seem a little too relaxed and unfocused. Sit comfortably confident and secure of your place and purpose. Practice your standing and sitting positions before you arrive at your event.
Moving around and fidgeting is a sign of boredom, impatience and sometimes intolerance. Keep both feet planted firmly on the floor. It helps to keep your posture upright.
You can quickly get in sync with your interviewer by mirroring their positive body language.
Do: Use your hands
Don't use untamed gestures – keep them subtle and use them moderately, enough to suggest authority.
Use open-palmed gestures to indicate openness and honesty. Don’t clench your fists, or rub your hands together, it can make you look nervous .
All your gestures should be open and expressive.
Smile and nod where appropriate. It’s OK to laugh when the interviewer does. You want to show you have a personality and you’re paying attention to what’s being said. Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
Hold the person’s attention and present a pleasant personality. Smile naturally. Participate in the conversation and be comfortable in the interaction.
Whether you’re going to your first job interview, you’re out of practice, or you’re uncomfortable when networking, be sure your body language transmits confidence. These basic body language tips can help you to succeed in multiple professional situations.