Non-Verbal Interviewing Skills
When interviewing for employment you could be thinking that if you are the
candidate with the best answers to interview questions, you'll get the job. In
fact, that isn't typically the case.
CollegeJournal reports that, according to some studies, "Body
language comprises 55% of the force of any response, whereas the verbal content
only provides 7%, and paralanguage, or the intonation -- pauses and sighs given
when answering -- represents 38% of the emphasis." Click
here for the "Matching
As you can see, nonverbal communication is as important, or even more important
than, verbal communication. The evaluation of your nonverbal communication will
start as soon as you walk into the company's lobby and continue until the
interview is finished. If your nonverbal communication skills aren't up to par,
it won't matter how well you answer the questions.
If you come to an interview reeking of cigarette smoke or chewing gum, you
will already have one strike against you. Too much perfume or not enough
deodorant won't help either. Not being dressed appropriately or having scuffed
shoes will give you a second strike. Talking on your cell phone or listening to
an IPod while waiting to be called for the interview may be your final strike.
What's important, when interviewing, is to appear professional and attentive
throughout the interview process. Before you leave for the interview, make sure
you are dressed professionally, neatly groomed, your shoes are polished, and
you haven't overdone (none is better than too much) the perfume or aftershave.
There's more than one hiring manager who won't hire someone they can smell
(good or bad) before they meet them face-to-face.
to Bring to an Interview
- Portfolio or pad holder with a copy of your resume and a list of references on
- Work Samples (if relevant)
- Notepad, Pen
- Breath mint (before you enter the building)
- Women: extra pair of pantyhose (keep in your briefcase or car)
Not to Bring to an Interview
- Cell phone
- Soda or coffee
- Scuffed shoes, messy and/or not-so-clean clothes
The way you sit in the lobby, the way you greet the receptionist and the
interviewer, and the way you wait, will all have an impact on whether you are
going to be considered for the job. Be friendly and pleasant, but, not
overbearing. If you need to wait, sit quietly (no phone calls) and patiently.
Shake hands with the interviewer. Your handshake should be firm - not sticky or
wimpy. To avoid sweaty palms, visit the rest room, wash your hands, then run
them under cool water prior to the interview. Keep your palms open rather than
clenched in a fist and keep a tissue you in your pocket to (surreptitiously)
Communication During the Interview
- Make eye contact with the interviewer for a few seconds at a time.
- Smile and nod (at appropriate times) when the interviewer is talking, but,
don't overdo it. Don't laugh unless the interviewer does first.
- Be polite and keep an even tone to your speech. Don't be too loud or too
- Don't slouch.
- Do relax and lean forward a little towards the interviewer so you appear
interested and engaged.
- Don't lean back. You will look too casual and relaxed.
- Keep your feet on the floor and your back against the lower back of the chair.
- Pay attention, be attentive and interested.
- Don't interrupt.
- Stay calm. Even if you had a bad experience at a previous position or were
fired, keep your emotions to yourself and do not show anger or frown.
- Not sure what to do with your hands? Hold a pen and your notepad or rest an arm
on the chair or on your lap, so you look comfortable. Don't let your arms fly
around the room when you're making a point.
- Your verbal communication is important too. Remember your manners and and thank
the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you. Don't use slang. Speak
clearly and definitely.
What's most important, is to remember that the image the interviewer has of
you when he first meets you is the one that is going to last. If you're
slouchy, sloppy or messy it won't matter how well you answer the interview
questions. You are not going to get the job. When practicing for an interview,
work on your nonverbal communications as well as your other interviewing
skills. It could be what clinches the job offer for you.
The Interview Advantage"
How to Use Nonverbal Communication to Impress
By Alison Doyle, About.com Guide
One study at UCLA indicated that up to 93 percent of communication
effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues. Another study indicated that
the impact of a performance was determined 7 percent by the words used, 38
percent by voice quality, and 55 percent by the nonverbal communication.