1 September 2014

I’ve often heard people say that, in interview situations particularly, nonverbal signals make a much bigger impression than the things you say. Whilst I’m not sure it’s a statement that applies 100% of the time, I do believe that body language is the best way to really understand what someone is thinking or feeling at any given time.

handshakeThis doesn’t just apply to interviews, either. As Brits, we’re great at knuckling down and getting on with it, so sometimes when we ask a friend or colleague how they are, we will get a brave face instead of an honest answer. Even if they sound convincing, body language often gives the game away.

When it comes to interviews, body language clues can help you understand what makes a person tick, how they really feel about the experiences they refer to and whether they agree or disagree with any statements you make. It’s also important to remember the pressure that these situations can put on people. Nervous body language isn’t necessarily a bad thing – after all, not everybody enjoys being the centre of attention.

Personally, when I meet people lacking a little self-confidence, it doesn’t make me doubt their ability; it makes me want to help them come out of their shell, especially when I can see that they love what they do. After all, it’s hard to make your eyes light up when you’re thinking about something you don’t enjoy! If someone has what you’re looking for, you’ll see it in them whether they verbalise it or not.

What do you think? Do you take notice of people’s body language when you’re talking to them, or is it more about what they say?

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