Body language: A gesture is worth a thousand words

Published April 9th, 2015 - 07:41 GMT
Do you confuse respect for civility? Be mindful of sending out the right message with your body language. (Shutterstock)
Do you confuse respect for civility? Be mindful of sending out the right message with your body language. (Shutterstock)

Ok, let’s talk about body language. How many of you folks out there who are looking to get a good job and jumpstart your careers confuse respect for servility? Wrong thing to do, sends out the message that you are desperate and you have no self-esteem. Ask yourself, why would you have someone on the team who has no self-esteem. Even if you are doing this docile, subservient thing as a ploy, it does not fly. Respect is an admix of courtesy and grace under pressure and politeness with a firm covering.

It is not:

a) Sitting precariously on the edge of the chair.
b) Not sitting because you want to show deference.
c) Covering your lap with your hands. You are a man, act like one. If you  are a woman, sit up straight…look them in the eye.
d) Nodding your head wildly to show agreement even if you do not agree.
e) Saying Sir every few words like yes sir I will do that Sir, certainly Sir, I am good at such work Sir. Stop it, stop it.

Point taken. Now let’s go back to the start. Your name is called. It is your turn to enter the interview room. Grab a sip of water if you can so as not to enter with a dry throat and stress.

Don’t knock on the door and say, “May I come in, Sir.” They just called your name, didn’t they, so why ask permission to enter? Just a quick knock and you say 'Good day' or whatever, and that is enough. And do not bend over to half your size in that “I am such a miserable creature" crouch when you knock. Nothing annoys the panel more than that display of inferiority. No one is impressed that you are a nice person.

You can say, "May I sit down" but not as a request as much as a statement of intent. That is why the chair is there. It is not a decoration.
Now, you have sat down; look comfortable and relaxed even if your heart is pounding with the tension. The people interviewing you are normal humans beings. They have had a fight with their wives, their car broke down, one is probably suffering from acidity, the other is worried about his golf chip shot, another is upset because his best staffer dumped him, so don’t be intimidated, come off confident. If need be, practice your posture in a mirror the night before.
Now, the questions start.

Three things that do not go with a positive physical stance. Don’t babble, don’t keep agreeing with dismal eagerness and like I said before, though it is largely an Asian thing, don’t nod…other nationalities have no idea whether you said, yes, no or maybe. Speak.
Don’t wriggle, squirm as you sit and do not slouch, that is not relaxed, that is rude.

Most of you will read up to here and say, no I am not like that. Yes, you are. More than 60 percent of people who come for interviews are either brash and crude to cover their nervousness, ignorance or simply inability or they are so surrendering in their body language that they haven’t a chance. If the company wanted a doormat, they would go and buy one. Right, the big question; why do you think you are suitable for the job. Do not begin to plead because you need the job and how you’ll please the bosses with your honesty and sincerity. Nobody so far has entered an interview and said, I am dishonest and insincere so cut me some slack, give me a job. It does not work that way…plan your answer in advance, the question will come, you can depend on it and you should know why you want this job. If you don’t know, why should they give it to you. Contrary to what you might think, the world does not owe you a living. And stop nodding in agreement!

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