Body Language and Employment

By Officeteam, Special for USDR

When it comes to landing a job, what you say to a prospective employer may sometimes be less important than how you say it. In a recent survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam, senior managers said 30 percent of candidates display negative body language during interviews.

Respondents identified eye contact as the most telling nonverbal cue when meeting with applicants, rating it a 4.18 on a scale of one to five (with five indicating the highest significance). This was followed by facial expressions (3.96).

Senior managers were asked, “On a scale of one (not much) to five (a lot), how much do the following nonverbal cues tell you about a candidate during an interview?” Their responses:

Eye contact

4.18

Facial expressions

3.96

Posture

3.55

Handshake

3.53

Fidgeting/habitual movements

3.33

Hand gestures

3.03

View an infographic of the surveyfindings.

“Providing thoughtful responses and asking intelligent questions carry a lot of weight during a job interview, but your body language can also speak volumes,” said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Candidates need to do everything they can to increase their chances of receiving an offer — and that includes avoiding negative and distracting nonverbal behaviors.”

OfficeTeam offers job seekers five tips for putting their best body language forward duringinterviews:

  1. Get hands-on. Aim for a handshake that’s firm, but doesn’t crush the recipient. Limit the duration to a few seconds.
  2. Break out of that slump. Subtly mirror the interviewer’s body language and posture. Sit up straight and lean forward slightly to show engagement and confidence.
  3. Put on a happy face. A genuine smile demonstrates warmth and enthusiasm. Conduct a mock interview with a friend to find out if you’re unwittingly sending negative nonverbal cues.
  4. Keep your eyes on the prize. Maintain regular eye contact during the meeting, but look away occasionally. Staring may be perceived as aggressive.
  5. Don’t fidget. Resist the urge to shake your legs, tap your fingers or twirl your pen. It’s fine to use hand gestures, as long as they’re not distracting. Keep your arms uncrossed to appear more open and receptive.

About the  Research
The survey was developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 300 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the United  States.

About Office Team
OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit roberthalf.com/officeteam. Follow the OfficeTeam Take Note® blog at roberthalf.com/officeteam/blog for career and management  advice.

SOURCE OfficeTeam

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.
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