By Shea Ki
Do you know that your body language often communicates more to others than what you actually say? Your words might be saying you are qualified and enthusiastic about the job, but your gestures, posture, handshake, and facial expressions may be telling a different story. This could blow your chances when you are in the hot seat.
In a tech saturated world, it's common to be more comfortable communicating from behind a screen rather than talk about our value in person. It's a problem that is getting worse instead of better. So it is no wonder you can quickly find body language tips on everything from bad habits we do with our hands to better eye contact with a simple google search. But why does so much negative body language still happen--especially when someone is under pressure?
Stress before and during an interview can pile up quickly. You might think you are hiding it pretty well, but your body language will be the first to tell on you. It's not something you can fix overnight with only a list of good tips that you read or talks that you watch on YouTube.
In this second part of my blog series on The Upgrade My Interview™ method, I am sharing with you ways to get in tune with what message your body language is communicating.
1. Observe, Move, & Practice More
When we have too much nervous energy, it looks for ways to get out of our body. Twirling hair with your fingers, tapping your feet, or other fidgeting do not make a positive impression. But how can we stop these nervous habits? Getting out of our head where we tend to overthink and get more anxious is a must for a successful interview.
With interview skills coaching, you can be trained to use your body to bring you into a calmer state before a stressful performance. I would be honored to help you with a coaching session, but you can also start taking these smaller steps to increase the power of your body language.
You can also make boosting your body language fun by making it a challenge. For seven days, set your alarm on your phone for every hour to remind you gently that it's time to re-align your posture, take some deep breaths, and shake out any nervous energy if needed. After a week of this practice, you'll notice that better body language becomes easier and more natural. Repeating these types of challenges when you have an interview coming up will also serve you well.
Your efforts to upgrade the message your body language is sending out will pay off with major benefits in the world of work.
2. Strengthen & Engage Your Core
Those visits to the gym or doing Youtube exercise videos will pay off more than you might realize. You don't need a six pack to impress at the interview, but a stronger core will boost your body language. Notice how often during your work day you and others are slouching. Look around you right now. Are most people sitting with hunched shoulders and a rounded posture?
It's easy to think, "Well, I wouldn't sit like that at an interview, of course. I would straighten up for that moment." But we can't expect that overnight our bodies will be strong enough to hold a confident posture. It takes time, but the good news is you can begin working on it right away.
On days that working out seems like such a chore to go do, it helps me to remember the benefits. Did you know that routinely working out your core muscles will make it easier for you to keep this key area engaged when you are in an interview? Pilates, sit-ups, and kickboxing have been my go-tos! These core-focused types of activities help me keep my shoulders more at ease, instead of tense and falling into a slouch when I am under pressure.
The benefit of better posture that you get from a strong core will help you send a powerful, nonverbal message that you are confident and prepared.
3. Bring Your Mood Boosters
How can you keep your intention of keeping positive body language from being sabotaged? As you are practicing and preparing for your interview, give yourself time to see which of these tips are most helpful to increasing your mood in the moment.
Being mindful and in control of your body language takes practice and patience, but it is key to avoiding a negative first impression.
Did you find this advice for better body language helpful? Share this blog post with a friend who you believe in and want to see shine in the hot seat.
Your turn: What tip will you be trying out to boost your body language? Post your comment in the reply box below.
Most of all, believe in you.
Shea Ki is a holistic Career Coach on a mission to end the interview struggle. Find out more about her coaching packages so you can shine in the hot seat and attract work that lights you up.