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College Students

Importance of Body Language

No matter what you are doing, you are communicating. If not with words then with your body. Non-verbal communication is a universal constant amongst sentient beings- like human beings, dogs, mountain lions, and zebras. Everything about your body language tells something about you, like if you’re confident, proud, vain, annoyed, or just in one of those moods where if somebody asked you how you were, you’d set them on fire with your eyes. You get the idea.

You probably already know this. You also probably know what type of body language to convey at what time. Sometimes, though, it’s the smaller, unconscious body language that gets people in trouble. During an interview, sitting up straight with your hands folded over your lap, legs on the floor is a smart way to go. You can slouch in class and convey not caring to your professor, but do that during an interview and the odds of you landing the job are pretty slim. It is important to watch the smaller things like making sure your leg is not bouncing up and down. You would be surprised what little things employers notice and even more surprised as to what turns them off to a candidate. The short list is as follows:

• Avoiding eye contact
• Sitting on the edge of your chair
• Slouching
• Fidgeting
• Too much animation
• Fake smiles
• Inappropriate facial expressions
• Watch or phone checking

There are countless more mistakes people make while interviewing that go unnoticed by them but not by the employer. A great way to practice correcting non-verbal mistakes is to record a practice interview with a camera and watch the replay. Practice now so the real thing is flawless and you give the employer a reason to remember you for the right reasons. For an expanded view on non-verbal communication, check out Spark Hire’s own Nicole Nicholson’s article “Proper Body Language and Behavior for an Interview.”

Questions? Ideas or suggestions? Follow me on Twitter @ChrisComella or email me at [email protected]

Christopher Comella

Christopher earned his BA in Political Science from DePaul University in 2011, and is no stranger to writing and deadlines. One of his greatest assets is to add humor to even the driest of subjects, which is why half of his professors love him and the other half hated his work.

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