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Reading Body Language in an Interview

Why Read Body Language? First, people really do communicate about 50 percent of their messages with their bodies. If you do not learn ...

Why Read Body Language?
First, people really do communicate about 50 percent of their messages with their bodies. If you do not learn to read the language of body position, movement, and interactions, you will be missing out on a great deal of information.

Second, most people do not go into an interview with the purpose of being totally honest. Face it; most people are at least as eager to make a good impression as they are to tell you what you need to know. If you learn to use body language in every business interview you do, you will have a greater chance of finding out the problem areas you need to improve within your products, staff relations, and workplace setting.

Positive Body Language
There are many different kinds of cues that tell you a person is comfortable, honest, or confident. Here are a few tips to get you started.
• The interviewee shakes your hand with a similar grip to yours, neither asserting dominance nor showing weakness.
• The person you are interviewing maintains a reasonable amount of eye contact. He does not stare, but he does not look away or down constantly either.
• The person in the business interview shows openness by leaving his arms unfolded and by exhibiting facial expressions and hand gestures that are appropriate to the interview. A certain amount of personality is desirable in most cases.
• If a person being interviewed tilts his head, you can assume he is interested in what you are saying.
• If a person takes time to breathe before the interview, gets relaxed before beginning, and takes a moment to thank you for the interview, you know he is confident and comfortable.
Negative Body Language
There are some kinds of body language that come off as negative and unappealing. If you see them, you have to wonder whether the person is being honest with you or fears retribution for some mistake they may have made. Here are a few examples.
• If someone walks in with their hands deep in pockets and head drooping, they may be depressed.
• If the person in the interview crosses their hands on their chest, they are exhibiting a defensive personality.
• If the subject of the interview is rubbing their nose, they may be blatantly lying to you.
• Someone who plays with their hair is usually insecure.
Finding out the meaning of body language does not mean that you need to take drastic measures against the person or discount everything they say. However, it might mean you have to question them more thoroughly and work harder to put them at ease during an interview.

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