Interview Tips: How body language can help you succeed

The importance of effective body language and how to use it to your advantage.

After years of placing travel professionals in exciting new positions, Travel Placement Service knows the importance of effective body language in turning a job interview into a job offer. Here are some tips to remember next time you find yourself meeting a hiring manager:

Do make eye contact:

A good rule of thumb is for you to give or reflect the same frequency of eye contact that a person gives you. People who make poor eye contact can be perceived as dishonest, untrustworthy or lacking in confidence. You want to put people at ease, rather than creating uneasiness by the way you look at them.

Do shake hands:

If you are in a formal setting where you are meeting people that you don’t know, avoid the “dead fish” or “fingertip” handshake which can signal insecurity. Likewise, avoid the “vise-grip” squeeze that usually projects arrogance. Finally, avoid shaking people’s hands in a way that feels like you are pumping for oil. This type of handshake is often interpreted as an overreach or over-exaggeration of how you portray yourself. Take the person’s hand firmly but don’t squeeze, and move your hand up and down two or three times. If you need to practice shaking hands to feel more comfortable, then do so.

Do straighten up:

Mom was right! It’s important to exhibit good posture. Slouching appears unprofessional and hurts your credibility. Whether you are sitting slumped or sitting straight, if your arms are open or crossed, you are transmitting a message. People who lean back in a chair or away from the person speaking can be interpreted as disinterested or as being arrogant or overly confident. Sit up and lean slightly forward to demonstrate your interest in the other person and what they are saying.

Do manage your gestures:

Those who are more assertive often gesture when speaking. They may point, chop, accentuate a point, invite, or even draw pictures in the air front of themselves when they speak. Notice the intensity of your gestures when speaking. You want to make sure that your gestures are not so emphatic or distracting as to take away from your spoken message.

For more great tips on body language, check out this recent article by DialogueWorks.

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