Body language – what do you say when you don’t say anything?
Words have powerful power – there is no doubt about it. However, how we behave is no less important. Body language can tell the interlocutor a lot about our attitude, character and well-being. Gestures and facial expressions are particularly important during job interviews. Lack of control over body language can eliminate a candidate from the very beginning. What do individual non-verbal messages indicate? What do they result from? Today we’re talking about what you say when you don’t say anything!
The fact that the words spoken are not the most important in a conversation with another person began to be said at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s. These conclusions have been reached by scientists studying the mechanisms of interpersonal communication. Numerous experiments have shown the advantage of tone of voice and body language, especially facial expressions, over the spoken word. It turns out that our eyes, hands and body movements can tell a lot to our interlocutor.
Body language – definition
he definition of body language exists in social psychology and in everyday vocabulary. It is defined as non-verbal communication, i.e. the transfer of moods and emotions through gestures, facial expressions, posture, behavior, way of moving or looking. Knowledge about how our body behaves is useful primarily in formal situations, i.e. wherever we have to weigh and control our words and behavior. Body language affects the first impression, which is why it is extremely important during job interviews. What can a recruiter pay attention to?
What does your face say about you?
During a job interview, the recruiter’s gaze primarily focuses on the candidate’s face. It turns out that you can read a lot through gestures and facial expressions. Eye, mouth and jaw movements signal various emotional states – from joy to sadness, from fear to rage.
The eyes are the most important thing. We don’t trust people who keep their eyes down or look to the side during the entire conversation. Even though avoiding eye contact may be due to shyness or stress, it can still be perceived as tactless and disrespectful. That’s why it’s worth working on this first.
A slightly tilted head is a sign of sympathy for the interlocutor. Leaning down may mean that the interlocutor is hiding something or wants to keep his distance.
And what does the mouth say? A half-smile may be perceived as an attempt to outsmart the interlocutor or hide a lie. Smiling with your mouth closed means submission, pursing your lips is a sign of stress, and biting your upper lip can indicate nervousness and anxiety.
What can we read from it from the movements of the arms and legs?
Hands play a huge role in non-verbal communication. Imagine that the interlocutor holds them rigidly along his body throughout the conversation. Not very natural, right? Hands clasped on the chest indicate a defensive posture, placed on the hips or kept in the pocket with thumbs sticking out are an expression of dominance and self-confidence, and clasped hands may indicate submission and tension. Drumming your fingers on the table indicates boredom and lack of interest in the situation or what the interlocutor is saying. Scratching your beard or head, stroking your hair, or touching your mouth and its surroundings is distracting and takes your attention away from what’s important. Crossed legs indicate closedness and uncertainty, and uncrossed legs indicate openness.
Playing with a pen is not so inconspicuous
A lot can be deduced from innocently playing with a pen. Tapping a pen on a table or notebook may be perceived as impatience or increasing aggression. Removing and replacing the cap indicates anxiety, distraction and stress. Biting off a pen means worry, tapping the pen lightly on the mouth indicates that someone is not interested in the conversation and is bored, and moving the pen between fingers indicates difficulty in concentrating.
How to establish good contact with an interviewer and perform well at a recruitment meeting?
If you want to establish a good relationship with the recruiter, smile warmly, signaling your satisfaction with the meeting. You can express your focus on what the recruiter is saying by subtly nodding your head. Gesture lightly with your hands, appropriate to what you are saying. If you are holding something in your hand, do not move it too much so as not to distract the listener from your verbal message. When standing, be upright and stable. Don’t jump from one foot to the other and don’t bend your body. Sit upright and relatively still. React and act naturally. Knowing gestures and facial expressions makes it easier to function in society. When you learn to control your body language, you will easily get through any difficult conversation and put your best foot forward even in incredibly stressful situations.