It is true that it is impossible to read people’s minds by observing their gestures, but that does not mean that in the world of non-verbal language there are no codes of conduct.
These are not rules that we learn in class or that we had to memorize while reading texts, of course, but even without realizing it, we always judge what types of postures and movements speak well about a person and which ones say bad things about us.
Whether or not this non-verbal communication code or “tag” is used affects us in many facets of our lives, but if there is one context in which this dimension of our behavior is decisive, it is in the job interview, where the person interviewing us will try to find out as much as possible about us as soon as possible.
Gestures and postures to avoid in a selection process
Below you can see the most common mistakes in a job interview regarding non-verbal communication.
1. Weak handshake or “steak hand”
The handshake is generally the first contact with the person who is going to question us, and therefore it is of great importance as a means of making a first impression in the most literal sense of the word. In this situation, some people may end up giving a very weak fit (called a “steak hand”) due to nerves or feeling intimidated by the situation.
It is important to avoid this: the fit should be firm, be assertive and avoid showing a passive attitude. Outraged, it must be accompanied by a direct look in the eyes of the other person.
2. Hands in pockets
When nerves appear it is common to find that “you have a pair of hands” and you don’t know what to do with them. We are so afraid of making mistakes that we start to question all of our possible moves, and it cripples us. One of the solutions to this is to end the problem by making our hands disappear from our pockets. However, this is a bad idea.
Having our hands in our pockets during a job interview or during the transition between the handshake and the moment when we are going to sit in the chair that the other person offers us causes the impression of passivity and disagreement. ‘insecurity. The alternative to this is to let your arms hang down normally and use your hands to make gestures accompanying our speech.
3. The crossing of arms
Crossing your arms appears to be a solution to the nervous problem noted above. however, it’s even worse than putting your hands in your pockets, As it is a less discreet gesture and also denotes a defensive attitude.
4. Swing on the table
Once seated at the table where the interview will take place, it is important to maintain an upright position, Keep your back and thighs at a 90 degree angle. Moving the body forward on the table with a lot of weight in the arms is a gesture of fatigue and makes a bad image considered unprofessional.
5. Touch your head
Another reaction to stressful situations is to touch certain parts of the head and face. Usually these are the nose, mouth, or hair. It’s important to keep an eye on yourself to make sure this doesn’t happen as a repetitive act., Because it hinders communication by forcing him to keep his gaze a little low or to hide part of his face behind his hand and arm.
6. Avoid eye contact
It is essential to keep your gaze fixed on the face and eyes of the person asking us questions when they are speaking to us. However, it is important that instead of focusing on looking her in the eye, we are more concerned with not stopping looking her in the eye, that is, realizing when we are breaking the eye contact rather than during eye contact, because the opposite can make us worry too much about the image we give and we stop paying attention to what we are told.
7. Support your head in your hand
Holding the weight of the head on one arm can be an automatic gesture that it appears as a response to stress and fatigue that the situation of having to manage our role well during the interview produces in us. However, this is something that we must avoid completely, among other things because it makes our posture asymmetric, which gives an image of fatigue and disinterest.
8. Get too close
It is important to note that a job interview belongs to the professional field, in which personal distances are greater than during informal treatment. This needs to be translated into our non-verbal language and we must leave a space between us and the interviewer.
9. Maintain an oblique posture
Positioning yourself diagonally in relation to the person interviewing us is an automatic reaction that some people have when they want to hide part of their face or prefer not to reveal their whole body. This is interpreted as a sign of insecurity and a strategy to stay on the defensive.
10. Fold your back
Staying in a bent position while sitting is very common among people who are not used to sitting properly and, in addition to being unhealthy, it gives a bad image, being a sign of fatigue.
11. Don’t make a move
Nerves can make us ‘freeze’ our whole body and just talk. This makes our message and our expression somewhat nuanced and uninteresting. It is advisable to accompany what we say with hand and arm gestures at the same pace as we speak.