7 Body Language Tips for Winning 'The Job'
Adjust your attitude.
The fastest way to insure a positive first impression – and this needs to be done before you enter the meeting room – is to strike a “power pose.” Stand with your feet at least hip-distance apart, hold your head high, pull your shoulders back, and stretch out your arms. Research shows that if you hold that pose for two minutes, you will feel (and be perceived as) more confident and competent as you walk into the interview.
Lower your vocal pitch.
When you are anxious or nervous, your vocal pitch tends to rise. Right before the interview allow your voice to relax into its optimal pitch (a technique I learned from a speech therapist) by keeping your lips together and making the sounds “um hum, um hum, um hum.”
A smile is an invitation, a sign of welcome. It says, “I’m friendly, approachable, and sure of myself.”
Maintain eye contact.
Looking at your interviewers transmits energy and indicates interest and openness. (To improve your eye contact, make a practice of noticing the eye color of everyone you meet.)
The job seekers on CBS couldn’t touch the judges (who were seated behind a table), but a handshake is the quickest way to establish rapport. It’s also the most effective – if you do it right. Research shows it takes an average of three hours of continuous interaction to develop the same level of rapport that you can get with a single handshake.
Maintain an open posture.
You may cross your arms because you are cold, or more comfortable doing so, but most interviewers will interpret that gesture as protective or resistant. If you keep your hands behind your back or stuffed in your pockets, you’ll seem tentative. But if clasp your hands loosely around waist level or let them fall comfortably to your side, you expose more of your body and look as if you (literally) have nothing to hide.
Dress for success.
This means knowing what style of dress (from casual to corporate) is appropriate for the job you want. One contestant on last night’s show didn’t get a job offer, partly because he under-dressed for his “on-the-job” assignment at the Palm restaurant, but was offered another job at a more casual restaurant chain.
Good body language alone won’t get you the job, but it can greatly enhance your chances of projecting a confident, competent, and professional image.