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Contact Us: Nova Employment Consultants
Borrowdale, Harare
Email: nova@scott.co.zw
Trace: 0772 310 492
Natanya: 0774 821 398

There is an excerpt from the newsletter below:

Events coming up:

Career Wise – Professional Career Guidance and Aptitude Testing

Are you unsure about which career path to take? Confused about your next step? Trying to find out what tertiary education options best suit you? We can help you find the answers!

Registered Educational Psychologist from London coming to Harare for 10 days from 25 July – 4 August 2011. Limited bookings available. Contact us on 04-788056/ 776298 or come and see us at 6 Renfrew Rd, Highlands.

Master Secretarial & PA Excellence Workshop

Date: 07/09/2011 – 09/09/2011

PMC will be running a Master Secretarial and PA Excellence workshop in Harare at USD300 at Crowne Plaza

They will also be hosting a Peakford`s Secretaries Day at USD150.

If someone wishes to attend both programmes the cost will be USD350 instead. Location: Crowne Plaza Monomotapa Hotel
Harare
E-mail: achieve@peakford.co.za
Contact name: Shaline Jemedze
Phone: +27 11 025 1256

Article:

INTERVIEWS – BODY LANGUAGE

Sending Signals Without Words

Body language is extremely important in an interviewing situation. Some would argue that it is just as important as what you say and what is on your resume. Why?
Because we can learn quite a bit about people by their non-verbal actions. This is
one of the ways that an interviewer is trying to size you up as a candidate.

When we are in stressful or uncomfortable situations, many of us have habits that
can be distracting to other people. Certainly biting ones nails or constantly fidgeting
with ones hands could be distracting from what you are trying to say. These are examples of body language that can be harmful in an interviewing situation. Used correctly, however, body language can reinforce what you are saying and give greater impact to your statements. The following are tips to help you give the right
non-verbal clues.

The Greeting

Giving a “dead fish” handshake will not advance one’s candidacy: neither will opposite extreme, the iron-man bone crusher grip.

The ideal handshake starts before the meeting actually occurs. Creating the right
impression with the handshake is a three-step process. Be sure that:

Your hands are clean and adequately manicured.
Your hands are warm and reasonably free of perspiration.
(There are a number of ways to ensure this, including washing hands in warm water at the interview site,
holding one’s hand close to the cheek for a few seconds, and even applying a little talcum powder.)
The handshake itself is executed professionally and politely, with a firm grip and a warm smile.

Remember that if you initiate the handshake, you may send the message that you have a desire to dominate the interview; this is not a good impression to leave with
one’s potential boss. Better to wait a moment and allow the
interviewer to initiate
the shake. (If for any reason you find yourself initiating the handshake, do not pull
back; if you do, you will appear indecisive. Instead, make the best of it, smile confidently, and make good eye contact.)

Use only one hand; always shake vertically. Do not extend your hand parallel to the
floor, with the palm up, as this conveys submissiveness. By the same token, you may
be seen as being too aggressive if you extend your flat hand outward with the palm
facing down.

Facial / Head Signals

Once you take your seat, you can expect the interviewer to do most of the talking. You can also probably expect your nervousness to be at its height.

Accordingly, you must be particularly careful about the nonverbal messages you send at this stage.

Now, while all parts of the body are capable of sending positive and negative signals,
the head (including the eyes and mouth) is under the closest scrutiny. Most good interviewers will make an effort to establish and maintain eye contact, and thus you
should expect that whatever messages you are sending from the facial region will be
picked up, at least on a subliminal level.

Our language is full of expressions testifying to the powerful influence of facial
signals. When we say that someone is shifty-eyed, is tight-lipped, has a furrowed
brow, flashes bedroom eyes, stares into space, or grins like a Cheshire cat, we are
speaking in a kind of shorthand, and using a set of stereotypes that enables us to
make judgments — consciously or unconsciously — about a person’s abilities and qualities. Those judgments may not be accurate, but they are usually difficult to
reverse.

Tight smiles and tension in the facial muscles often bespeak an inability to handle
stress; little eye contact can communicate a desire to hide something; pursed lips are
often associated with a secretive nature; and frowning, looking sideways, or peering
over one’s glasses can send signals of haughtiness and arrogance. Hardly the stuff of
which winning interviews are made!

The Eyes
Looking at someone means showing interest in that person, and showing interest is a
giant step forward in making the right impression. (Remember, each of us is our own favorite subject!)

Your aim should be to stay with a calm, steady, and non-threatening gaze. It is easy
to mismanage this, and so you may have to practice a bit to overcome the common hurdles in this area. Looking away from the interviewer for long periods while he is
talking, closing your eyes while being addressed, repeatedly shifting focus from the
subject to some other point: These are likely to leave the wrong impression.

Of course, there is a big difference between looking and staring at someone! Rather
than looking the speaker straight-on at all times, create a mental triangle incorporating both eyes and the mouth; your eyes will follow a natural, continuous
path along the three points. Maintain this approach for roughly three-quarters of
the time; you can break your gaze to look at the interviewer’s hands as points are
emphasized, or to refer to your note pad. These techniques will allow you to leave
the impression that you are attentive, sincere, and committed. Staring will only send
the message that you are aggressive or belligerent.

Be wary of breaking eye contact too abruptly, and shifting your focus in ways that
will disrupt the atmosphere of professionalism. Examining the interviewer below the
shoulders, is a sign of over familiarity. (This is an especially important point to keep
in mind when being interviewed by someone of the opposite sex.)

The eyebrows send a message as well. Under stress, one’s eyebrows may wrinkle; as
we have seen, this sends a negative signal about our ability to handle challenges in
the business world. The best advice on this score is simply to take a deep breath and
collect yourself. Most of the tension that people feel at interviews has to do with
anxiety about how to respond to what the interviewer will ask. Practice responses to
traditional interview questions and relax, you will do a great job.

The Head
Rapidly nodding your head can leave the impression that you are impatient and eager to add something to the conversation — if only the interviewer would let you.
Slower nodding, on the other hand, emphasizes interest, shows that you are validating the comments of your interviewer, and subtly encourages him to continue. Tilting the head slightly, when combined with eye contact and a natural
smile, demonstrates friendliness and approachability. The tilt should be momentary
and not exaggerated, almost like a bob of the head to one side. (Do not overuse this
technique!)

The Mouth
One guiding principle of good body language is to turn upward rather than downward. Look at two boxers after a fight: the loser is slumped forward, brows knit and eyes downcast, while the winner’s smiling face is thrust upward and outward. The victor’s arms are raised high, his back is straight, his shoulders are
square. In the first instance the signals we receive are those of anger, frustration,
belligerence, and defeat; in the second, happiness, openness, warmth, and confidence.

Your smile is one of the most powerful positive body signals in your arsenal; it best
exemplifies the up-is-best principle, as well. Offer an unforced, confident smile as
frequently as opportunity and circumstances dictate. Avoid at all costs the technique
that some applicants use: grinning idiotically for the length of the interview, no
matter what. This will only communicate that you are either insincere or not quite
on the right track.

It’s worth that the mouth provides a seemingly limitless supply of opportunities to
convey weakness. This may be done by touching the mouth frequently (and, typically, unconsciously); “faking” a cough when confused with a difficult question;
and/or gnawing on one’s lips absentmindedly. Employing any of these “insincerity signs” when you are asked about, say, why you lost your last job, will confirm or
instil suspicions about your honesty and effectiveness.

The Hands
As we have seen, a confident and positive handshake breaks the ice and gets the interview moving in the right direction. Proper use of the hands throughout the rest
of the interview will help to convey an above-board, “nothing-to-hide” message. Watch out for hands and fingers that take on a life of their own, fidgeting with themselves or other objects such as pens, paper, or your hair. Pen tapping is interpreted as the action of an impatient person; this is an example of an otherwise
trivial habit that can take on immense significance in an interview situation. (Rarely
will an interviewer ask you to stop doing something annoying; instead, he’ll simply
make a mental note that you are an annoying person, and congratulate himself for picking this up before making the mistake of hiring you.)

The Feet
Some foot signals can have negative connotations. Women and men wearing slip-on shoes should beware of dangling the loose shoe from the toes; this can be quite distracting and, as it is a gesture often used to signal physical attraction, it has no
place in a job interview. Likewise, avoid compulsive jabbing of the floor, desk, or
chair with your foot; this can be perceived as a hostile and angry motion, and is
likely to annoy the interviewer.

The Seven Signals for Success

So far we have focused primarily on the pitfalls to avoid; but what messages should
be sent, and how? Here are seven general suggestions on good body language for the
interview.

1. Walk slowly, deliberately, and tall upon entering the room.

2. On greeting the interviewer, give (and, hopefully, receive) a friendly “eyebrow flash”: that brief, slight raising of the brows that calls attention to the face, encourages eye contact, and (when accompanied by a natural smile) sends the strong positive signal that the interview has gotten off to a good start.

3. Use mirroring techniques. In other words, make an effort — subtly! — to reproduce the positive signals your interviewer sends. (Of course, you should never mirror negative body signals.) Say the interviewer leans forward to make a point; a few moments later, you lean forward slightly in order to hear better. Say the interviewer leans back and laughs; you “laugh beneath” the interviewer’s laughter, taking care not to overwhelm your partner by using an inappropriate volume level. This technique may seem contrived at first, but you will learn that it is far from that, if only you experiment a little.

4. Maintain a naturally alert head position; keep your head up and your eyes front at all times.

5. Remember to avert your gaze from time to time so as to avoid the impression that you are staring; when you do so, look confidently and calmly to the right or left; never look down.

6. Do not hurry any movement.

7. Relax with every breath.

Dr. Gabriel and Nili Raam

Contact Us: Nova Employment Consultants
Borrowdale, Harare
Email: nova@scott.co.zw
Trace: 0772 310 492
Natanya: 0774 821 398

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One Response

  1. Good advice, i will cherish this

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