Interview Communication and Body Language 101: Attention

When interviewing, you want to show confidence, to give the impression of someone who is competent, energetic, resilient and tenacious.

You will convey this impression mostly through what you have to say and how you say it. But another important way to convey confidence is through body language. Little changes in your body language can determine how others perceive you, and your body language can help you command attention. Here’s how.

Interview Communication and Body Language 101: Attention

1. Hand gestures

When you talk, hand gestures can help you gain the attention of your listeners. You should move your hands occasionally, but you don’t want to do it too often because then it can be distracting.

Also, gesturing with your palms down conveys authority and confidence. Other hand gestures that convey a sense of authority and expertise are holding the forefinger and thumb together in a pinching motion and touching the fingertips of each hand together.

2. Making the first move

When meeting someone for the first time, you should make the first move to shake the other person’s hand, rather than waiting for him or her to do it. This shows a sense of self-assurance.

3. Limit movement

Another way of showing confidence and commanding attention is to limit your movement. A person who is still conveys a sense of calm, poise, someone who is in command of his surroundings. Someone who is constantly fidgeting or making other movements conveys the opposite impression. If you are moving your head or your eyes are darting around, this gives the impression of someone ill at ease.

4. Eyebrows

Raising your eyebrows when speaking is a small gesture, but it has an impact, transmitting the impression of someone who is open and honest and worth listening to.

5. Eye contact

This is another important way to make sure that you are holding the attention of another person. Making eye contact shows confidence and that you are fully engaged in the conversation. Looking away from the person gives the opposite impression.

6. Smiling

Smiling immediately creates a positive atmosphere. It signals friendliness, openness, a willingness to engage another person on a personal level. This also helps to hold the other person’s attention.


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