The Importance of Body Language

Hi everyone! Today’s topic is important in every aspect of life. From first impressions to conversations with friends and co-workers and very importantly interviews, this idea is always present. Whether or not you think you notice, body language is so important and can be a silent killer or land you your dream job.

Body language is the most powerful signal of non-verbal communication. It allows us to express and interpret other people without thinking twice. This is crucial to understanding those around you. Figuring out how best to control your body language and adapt to the situation will help you improve daily interactions. Here are a couple of things to consider:

  • Posture: posture can be very noticeable on other individuals but not always yourself. Having great posture is not only a health benefit but also exudes confidence in the workplace. Lack of posture often signals boredom or grogginess, so it is important to pay attention to your posture both sitting and standing.
  • Eye contact: eye contact is such a great way to show that you are actively listening to someone. It shows that you are dialed in and care about what they are saying. With that being said, staring can be weird so you want to maintain eye contact and can casually look away when appropriate. Great eye contact is the fastest way to build a personal connection.
  • Personal space: besides staring at someone for minutes on end, another way to make someone uncomfortable is to speak to them too closely. Everyone has their personal space, and a good rule of thumb is to leave a couple of feet between you and the person you are talking to. Based on your relationship, you can adjust if you find it necessary, but you never want to be infringing upon someone’s personal space.
  • Mirror image: when in doubt, mirror the other person! Like I explained in the golf etiquette blog post if you don’t know what to do just follow whoever you are with. This goes well for when you are in an unknown setting or don’t know the proper manners for the situation you are in. It is always best to lead with professionalism but based on your company’s body language, you can mirror their movements.

How might this relate to recruiting? I found some great statistics (here) showing how this can affect an interview candidate.

  • 67% of hiring managers cite lack of eye contact as the biggest mistake candidates make
  • 26% of applicants in an interview get rejected because they fidget too much
  • 21% of interviewers will reject candidates who give a weak handshake
  • 39% of interviewers are put off if a candidate fails to smile

These statistics alone should make you want to perfect these skills. Non-verbal skills are extremely important and as crucial as it is to practice interview questions and responses, you sure want to add non-verbal skills to that list. I hope you found this blog post helpful – have a fun and safe Halloween weekend!


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