Did you know that research notes our body language communicates over 50% of our message to anyone at any given time?
This means that no matter how prepared and amazing your answers are for the interview, your body language is communicating more.
The career opportunity you deserve may slip away if your facial expressions, hand gestures, posture, and other non-verbal actions distract instead of impress the person interviewing you.
This is the second part of my vlog series that intends to help you recognize when your mindset, body language, and energy are out of sync with your message of professional value. For this post, I hope you walk away more aware of how much we often express ourselves before we even say a word.
By tuning into the body language of those around you and boosting your own, you will be well on your way to upgrading your interview.
Here are several of my favorite body language boosters that I often share with clients that I coach.
Put That Netflix Show On SILENT
Half the battle with improving your body language can be won by simply increasing your awareness of how people use it to communicate. A favorite assignment I give my clients is to watch a few minutes of their next Netflix binge with the SOUND OFF for 15 minutes. What do you notice? Most of the time, even without the sound you can pick up on most of the message.
Your body language is also telling a story to those interviewing you. Take a moment to answer these quick questions:
All of these body language habits can signal to those interviewing you a lack of interest in the job or a lack of confidence in your own abilities.
When you can learn how to match what you are saying with your posture, facial expressions, and hand movements, your professional value will be more seen and heard.
Put Power Poses Into Your Day
A second activity to upgrade your body language is to learn and hold poses that make you feel powerful. The research on the effect of this practice by Amy Cuddy in her book Presence blows my mind, even if for some it is controversial.
For most people I have coached, learning how to do poses that expand body movement and breathing helps transfer nervous energy and self-doubt into more confidence.
"Power posing" might be a new to you and holding your body in may different positions may feel strange at first. It's not something to try at the last minute. You need to get used to them so can you feel their full effect on your big day.
Step 1: Choose two or three poses stretch your body and feel empowering to you. You can get some ideas of effective power posing in this video, but don't let that be the only time you try them.
Step 2: Hold and feel yourself expanding in each pose. Some suggest holding a pose for 2 minutes. I often tell clients that it depends on what feels best for you. I've seen 1 minute for each pose while breathing deeply work wonders on decreasing nervous or other negative energy.
(Did you know you can double boost the grounding and powerful effect on your confidence by adding affirmations or what I call a mindset mantras to it? This video is something you can listen to while power posing to gain even more benefit.)
Step 3: On the big day, give yourself at least 3 minutes before your interview to go through your favorite power poses a few times. This is when your inner work with practicing the poses and deep breathing before the big day will pay off.
Your brain and nervous system will quickly recognize the expansive movements and deep breathing as a signal to increase your calm and confidence.
Even if there is no other place but the bathroom to do your favorite power poses before an interview, its worth it. You will still gain an empowering boost and leave behind your nervous energy back in the stall.
Step 4: If you've been thinking about starting yoga or another class that increases your body awareness, go for it! And if you already are a yoga student, dancer, or athlete, keep strengthening that mind-body-awareness connection. It is going to serve you ten-fold in the hot seat at interviews and in other high pressure work situations.
Put Yourself In The Hot Seat and Practice
Our body language quirks often become so much of a habit that we do not know how they are working against our professional message.
Practicing on video/Skype/Zoom/Facetime with a professional Career Coach like me or another professional who you trust is key to upgrading your body language for the interview. Getting help from a good friend for this area of career growth does not work effectively.
The mock interview situation needs to feel as real as possible. It's the best way to give an opportunity for those nervous, distracting body language habits to show up, be observed, and then be worked on for better results.
The person you team up with this needs to be able to have years of experience to see the strengths and areas for growth of your body language from an employer's or customer's point of view. Getting confirmation from an expert about what you can maximize on that you already do well is key to upgrading your interview.
Your turn: What power pose will you be boosting your body language with before your next turn in the hot seat?
Reply in the comments to me below.
Most of all, believe in you.
I'm Shea Ki, founder of the Upgrade My Interview™ method. I want to see you shine in the hot seat and attract work that lights you up.
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