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Aug 31, 2004
Applicants' Guide to Non-Verbal Signals
- Karen Grace Pascual Email this article

As if getting your resume noticed wasn’t hard enough, here comes the next phase, the interview. During an interview, H.R.s look into small clues of your personality. No, not through mind reading, but through the non-verbal signals you project.


Non-verbal signals are body gestures that convey an obvious message to a keen observer. Sometimes though, not all non-verbal signals convey the same message.


In job interviews, a brief moment is allotted to every applicant and every second counts. You have to send a clear message to your interviewer and words won’t be enough to do it.


Here are some helpful non-verbal signals to send the right message:


1.) Eye Contact

We have been raised knowing that eye contact shows respect, confidence and honesty. Looking away while conversing during an interview may send a wrong impression that you’re lying or lack confidence in answering.


But never plant your eyes on your interviewer. Try to break the eye contact while she peers in your résumé or when a simple question comes up.


2. ) Proper Posture.

Standing tall is a sign of a confident person and a perfect posture says something about high potential.


Aside from standing, remember your posture when sitting. Slide your back in the chair and stand straight. Do not sit at the edge because you might be saying either “I am so scared of you right now” or “Can I go? ”


3. ) The Hand Shake

Firm handshake is the thing to remember. It is a physical contact between you and the interviewer. It exudes confidence to your interviewer. Don’t crush the interviewer’s hands. Give your interviewer a confident handshake.


4.) Be Wary of Habits and Facial Expressions

Nail biting, head scratching, hair twirling, whistling etc. are big no-no’s in a job interview. They only say that you are one nervous wreck.


Smiling, aside from health and disposition benefits, makes you more approachable and less intimidating. Have an open-lipped smiling conveying openness and warmth.


Never forget to play the same game and watch out for non verbal signs from your interviewer. Looking at their watches may mean your answers are boring them. Leaning forward might indicate that they’re interested.


Practice in front of the mirror or in front of your friends and have them evaluate you. Try to be conscious of what you’re doing. The last thing you want is a non-verbal signal saying “ Don’t Hire me!”

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