Thursday, March 25, 2010

Job Seeker's: First Impressions Matter!

Did you know that, on average, your first impression is made within three to seven seconds of meeting someone? Body language is an integral part of the interview process, but is not practiced anywhere as much as the preparations for the verbal interview. We spend many hours preparing for possible interview questions with friends and polishing up verbal skills. Who practices controlling their body language?

Studies have shown that first impressions are based 7% on what you say, 38% tone of voice, and 55% body language. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be, a person can control what they say and how they say it, but often times we can not control how our body reacts to certain situations.

A bad first impression is almost impossible to overcome. Even the most highly qualified person will not get the job if he/she leaves the employer thinking about how much they fidgeted through the entire interview.

To ensure that your body language is as perfect as the answers you have been practicing, try thinking about the following when you are in the interview:

Pay attention to your posture: Sit up straight with your fit firmly planted on the floor. Many times people want to cross their legs but this can cause you to shake one leg, which suggests nervousness or discomfort.

Make eye contact: Looking away from someone makes it seem like you are not being truthful or that you have no confidence.

No arms folded: This position seems defensive or makes you seem reserved or uninterested in the conversation.

Hands in your pocket: Just don’t do it. It shows that you are either too relaxed and don’t care. It can also signify a lack of confidence or uneasiness.

Watch your hand motions: Rubbing or touching your nose or touching the back of your head can show that you’re not being honest or that you are bored with the conversation.

o It is okay to use hand gestures when speaking, but don’t overdo it.

Remember, maintain eye contact at all times and use your body motions to show that you are alert and interested by facing directly toward the interviewee. Don’t fidget. Try to relax, but be cautious you don’t appear TOO relaxed—that can convey you are over- confident or cocky.

I know it sounds like a lot to consider in an interview but as long as you’re conscious about your movements you will avoid negative body movements and sail through your interview!

What do you think? Do you feel that you may not have gotten a job because of your body language? Leave your comments so others can learn from the mistakes you have made. Let’s all help our fellow job seeker!

Carly Sabato

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