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Secrets to body language: Make the right impression Lesley Deugo, York Region Learning Connections

About the Author

Lesley Deugo is a Youth Outreach Worker for YorkYouth and Discover, at York Region Learning Connections in Richmond Hill. YorkYouth is a youth employment initiative delivered by the York Region District School Board, providing outreach and support in Southern York Region. For more information, visit www.yorkyouth.ca.

The saying that actions speak louder than words is mostly ignored during interview preparation. However, body language is an essential indicator to an employer about the interviewee's confidence and interest.

There are many ways that you can use your body language to show interest, confidence, and comfort. To begin, when you are seated in an interview it is best to sit straight in the chair, with your back rested on the back of the chair. Slouching or leaning in your seat can reveal disinterest or impatience. While seated, place your hands in your lap or rest them on the armrests. If you cross your arms, many interviewers will see your body language as defensive and insecure.

Once the interview begins, to show that you are listening, it is a good idea to nod your head as the questions are asked, and to turn your shoulders towards whoever is speaking. It is important to look directly at the person speaking to show that you are giving them your utmost attention. When you are required to respond, remember to answer everyone involved in the interview. This means that if there is more than one interviewer, look at all of them in turn as you are speaking.

Gesturing while you speak can also add confidence to your demeanor. By using your hands to emphasize what you are saying, you can make a bigger impression on those that are listening to you. Don't overdo it though, because too much hand gesturing can be distracting.

To make sure that you make a good impression through your body language, remember that fidgeting can be read as impatience or insecurity. If you have a tendency to twirl your hair, bite your nails, or fiddle with things in your hands, practice sitting still before your interview. It is normal to be nervous, but try to keep you nerves in check and your fidgeting to a minimum if you want to make the right impression.

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