Interview Guide, Part Three

Body language is very simple, really. Lots of people think that it makes a huge difference and teevee shows are full of guys that study body language for “tells” into the mind of the person they’re studying. Set all that pop psychology stuff aside and focus on one big, happy truth:

If you are comfortable and not hiding anything, you look and feel relaxed and confident.

And, its corollary:

If you look like you’re relaxed and confident, employers will think better of you over someone that looked nervous, sad, agitated, angry, or comatose.

That’s key to getting a job. People want to hire people that they like. People like people that are relaxed and confident. So, get your body language in order.

Step one is to take a good shower, get a clean shave, fix your hair nicely, wear appropriate makeup, ditch the facial piercings (see part two for the rest of looking the part), and wear clothes that both look good and feel good on you. You don’t want them causing you to have a pained expression, do you? Comfy clothes that look good let you relax and feel confident.

Step two is to smile. Smiling is the most important form of body language. It’s reassuring, comforting, cheery, and pleasant. Do you think employers want to hire the depressing, abrasive, gloomy, or unpleasant? They don’t, so smile and you won’t be part of that group.

Step three is to play to tell the truth in the best way possible. You may have to drop your smile when you explain a serious bit, like, “I had to be out of work for a year while I took care of my aging mother,” but if you can smile at the end of it, there’s a happy ending and the truth wasn’t so bad. If you plan to tell the truth, you’ll have nothing to fear. If you have nothing to fear, you can relax and feel confident. That’ll put a smile on your face, won’t it?

Do keep your posture open, but don’t go into a panic if you discover that you’ve accidentally crossed your arms. Just uncross them and keep smiling. Do sit up straight, but don’t give up hope should you find that you’ve developed a bit of a slouch. Sit up, roll your shoulders back, and smile. If you commit any other pop psychology faux pas, just fix it and smile so that you stay relaxed and confident.

As you can see, body language is easy. It’s not a matter of following a list of what to do and what not to do. It’s a matter of putting your own mind at ease and where the mind goes, the body will follow.

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