Body Language and Interviews

_51SBECD8PFLThis week we are talking about nonverbal language, so we are reading The Definitive Book of Body Language, by Barbara Pease and Allan Pease. The authors apply their experience in medicine, biology and psychology to illustrate the workings of the brain and how this influences our body language. Drawing upon more than thirty years in the field, the authors examine each component of body language and give you the basic vocabulary to read attitudes and emotions through behavior. They illustrate how we can use our knowledge of the brain’s functions to understand people’s emotions and behaviors. Once we understand these behaviors better, we can use this knowledge to our benefit in a variety of situations.

From the publisher:

This international bestseller reveals the secrets of nonverbal communication to give you confidence and control in any face-to-face encounter–from making a great first impression and acing a job interview to finding the right partner.

We often talk about leadership in management and our work with Business Owners, but I also do a lot of coaching for career changers and interview skills often come up. No one ever teaches you how to interview, therefore it’s something we all struggle with. I don’t know anyone who enjoys interviewing or the craft of cover letter writing. It’s hard work! So it’s important to be fully prepared, and one way is to understand how body language plays a part in how you come across.

It is a scientific fact that people’s gestures give away their true intentions. Yet most of us don’t know how to read body language–and don’t realize how our own physical movements speak to others. Barbara and Allan Pease share their techniques for reading body language signals to achieve success in every area of life.

Preparing for a job interview involves all sorts of things: research about the company, some background about the hiring manager and a good understanding of the job, what you’ll wear, what time to get there, and so on. But don’t overlook your body language aspect. If you’re a percher, someone who sits at the edge of a chair, practice changing position. If you lean back, slouching in your seat, practice leaning forward, your hands on the armrest or gesturing (just don’t overdo it). The Definitive Book Of Body Language will tell you all there is to know about our nonverbal communication. Much of what we communicate comes from our actions and attitude, not just what we say.


USNews put out a story a few months about about certain body language “tells” that have potential to ruin a job interview. They consider the following behavior as red flags for hiring managers. Make sure NOT to do these in an interview:

  1. Profusely sweating
  2. Stutter or fumble over words
  3. Talking too much or too fast
  4. Gesticulate wildly
  5. You blush

Many of these behaviors are done unconsciously or unknowingly, but if you go into the interview (or meeting, or speech) with a calm and collected mind, it will be easier to keep these feelings at bay.

Whether you are interviewer, a manager, a teacher, businessperson, someone looking for a job, this book can help you understand other people’s behavior and perhaps overcome communicational barriers. You will learn how to use nonverbal cues and signals to communicate more effectively and get the reactions you want. It serves as a great premier especially if you are not entirely familiar with the psychology of body language. Give it a read and try some of your newly acquired skills in your next job interview or business meeting. Let us know how it goes!

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” –Arthur Ashe

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