“The ABCs of image – appearance, behavior and communication – are key to standing out in a crowd and landing a job during these tough economic times,” says Lizandra Vega, author of The Image of Success: Make a Great Impression and Land the Job You Want.
As a New York executive recruiter and image coach, Lizandra knows a thing or two about job interviews. She has successfully guided thousands of job candidates through the interview process during various stages of their careers.
Take a look at her following two videos. Then read my interview with Lizandra (below) in which she tells us about:
- Three body-language no-no's;
- Body language for phone interviews; and
- How to respond to negative body language from the interviewer.
Susan Ireland's Interview with Lizandra Vega
What are the top three no-no's every job seeker should know about his or her body language during a job interview?
Avoid these three negative cues that could cost you the job offer:
Barrier cues: Don't create barriers between you and the interviewer by folding your arms or crossing your legs while sitting or standing. Doing so will give the recruiter the impression that you have a negative or defensive attitude; they can also come across as showing insecurity and fear.
Dominant cues: Don't come across as overbearing, cocky or domineering. Spreading your legs while sitting, placing your hands on your hips, and clasping hands behind your head or neck are all off-putting.
Provocative cues: Some of the most innocent gestures may be construed as provocative, intimate or sexual, such as: pen fondling or chewing, hair tousling, lip licking, ring fondling, and winking.
Many job interviews are conducted by phone. What body language advice do you have for phone interviews?
Even though your phone interviewer can't see you, he/she will develop a sense of your professionalism by how you come across on the phone. Here are three ways you can use your body language to make a good impression while on the phone:
Stand or sit with good posture, as it supports proper breathing and voice control.
Use an open-mouth smile while talking so your words sound warm and genuine.
Keep your hands away from your mouth and mouth piece so that you don’t sound muffled, and avoid breaking the flow of the conversations.
What should a job seeker do if she notices her interviewer is using negative body language?
If an interviewer is not focusing his/her gaze on you because he/she may be wrapped up in other thoughts, you may redirect the attention toward yourself by leaning forward, nodding your head, or adjusting the direction of your chair to a position where you connect with his/her gaze.
When an interviewer stands up at the end of an interview, use this as your cue to stand up and realize that the interview is over. Don’t overstay your welcome.
If an interviewer seems inhospitable or hostile (let's say he/she folds his arms or seems to be scowling), you may counter this by smiling and keeping your body in a relaxed and neutral position.
Lizandra Vega is the author of The Image of Success: Make a Great Impression and Land The Job You Want, (AMACOM Books, May 2010). Cofounder and managing partner of Manhattan-based boutique staffing firm Perennial Resources International (PRI), she is also a certified image coach. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children. Please visit Lizandra's website, befriend her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.
Disclaimer: Susan Ireland's Job Lounge does not gain from book sales that result from this blog post.