Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Body Language

He speaketh not; and yet there lies. A conversation in his eyes.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Hanging of the Crane


Body Language at a Job Interview - How to use your body language to give a good impression

How to use your body language to give a good impression

Good qualities that you should try to communicate through your body language at a job interview are: confidence, humor, interest, professionalism and friendliness. How do you do this?

Confidence: you should give a good and assertive handshake. Extend your arm confidently to your interview. Hold his/her hand firmly. Remember to smile and make eye contact at the same time. Walk confidently into and out of the room. Use your hands (do not overact this) while you are talking. This will communicate confidence and active demeanor.

Use a natural tone of voice. Speak clearly and slowly. This will also contribute to your overall confidence appearance.

Humor: you should smile from time to time. It is ok to make an appropriate joke if the opportunity arises. One that has worked for me in the past is, when asked “would your colleagues consider you an open minded person?” I replied “mmm I think we should ask them” and then I continue to respond seriously.

Interest: avoid yawning or looking away while you are being interviewed. Sit upright or lean forward a little. It is important that you feel comfortable in your posture. This will help you look relaxed and will make more your interviewer feel more at ease. Nod your head to show that you are paying attention and that you understand.

Bearing in mind all these tips, will help you perform better. Remember, you interviewee will be paying special attention to these details. Be prepared!


Shakespeare - Body Language

"Your face, my thane, is as a book where men may read strange matters."

- William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 1.5


Cantonese Proverb - Body Language

"Watch out for the man whose stomach doesn't move when he laughs."


Ralph Waldo Emerson - Body Language

"The eyes of men converse as much as their tongues, with the advantage that the ocular dialect needs no dictionary, but is understood the world over."


Skills Determined by the Color of Your Eyes

Self-pacing versus Reactive Skills

In his book "Nonverbal Communication in Human Interaction", the internationally known Professor Mark L. Knapp, quotes an interesting study performed by Morgan Worthy regarding how the color of your eyes may determine some of your motor skills.

His main thesis was that both animals and humans with dark eyes specialized in the ability to make quick reactions to visual or auditory stimuli. The dark eyed are described as more "spontaneous and emotionally reactive". On the other hand, light eyed animals had more visual sensitivity (as opposed to acutivity) and showed a hunting/escape strategy of "wait - freeze - stalk".

Dark eyes are not superior to light eyes, as the author cautions, nor is the converse of that true. Neither can reactivity or nonreactivity be considered as superior in any absolute sense.

Reference: Morgan Worthy, Eye Colour, Sex, and Race: Keys To Human Behavior & Mark L. Knapp, Nonverbal Communication in Human Interaction.


Normal Blinking vs Blinking when we are Anxious

We normally blink between 6 or 7 times per mintue. Blinking can increase up to 100 times per minute when we are anxious.


Why do we blink when we are anxious?

Several studies confirm that blinking increases when we are feeling anxious. But why do we do that?

According to psichiatrists this may be some way in which we try to isolate from reality. Blinking can increase from 6 or 7 blinks per minute (which is consider normal) up to 100 times per minute.


Edward Sapir - Body Language

Nonverbal communication is an elaborate secret code that is written nowhere, known by none, and understood by all.


Sherlock Holmes - Body Language

"By a man's finger nails, by his coat-sleeve, by his boot, by his trouser knees, by the callosities of his forefinger and thumb, by his expression, by his shirt cuffs -- by each of these things a man's calling is plainly revealed. That all united should fail to enlighten the competent enquirer in any case is almost inconceivable."

From "The Book of Life", an article by Holmes quoted in "A Study in Scarlet"


Dominance, Body Language and Thumbs

Expressing Dominance through Body Language

People in groups use their bodies to express their knowledge and agreement on who has the higher and lower hierarchical status.

The Display of Thumbs

The display of Thumbs is characteristic of domineering body language.
The thumbs convey ego and strengh of character. They are used to express supremacy, dominance or agression.

We can see them standing out of their pockets while the rest of the hand remains in the pockets. They may also stand up in a position where both arms are folded on the chest.

Typical situations where men may display thumbs and other domineering body language are in the presence of women (courtship) or in groups where they need to express their higher status: at work (a manager in the presence of subordinates) or with friends or family.

Other signs of dominance that may appear are: controlling the conversation by interrupting others and/or taking long pauses to answer making others wait, taking a lot of personal space with the body posture (e.g. with the hands on the hips and the elbows open to the sides), freely touching others and staring at others demanding attention.

These gestures are not exclusive of men. Dominant women also use them.

Reference: Allan Pease, Body Language, How to Read Other’s Thoughts by Their Gestures, Sheldon Press, 1981.


Hands Clenched Together

Hands clenched together is a typical frustration gesture. People with their hands in this position evidence a frustrated and hostiel attitude.

This gesture normally appears in four main postions: hands clenched in front of the face, hands resting on the desk, (if seated) hands resting on the lap and (if standing up) hands resting in front of the crotch.

Remember that signs come in clusters and therefore you should look for other signs of discomfort in order to make sure you are making a correct interpretation. These signs might be: nervous movements, blinking, looking away, crossed arms, stiff spine.

Reference: Allan Pease, Body Language, How to Read Other’s Thoughts by Their Gestures, Sheldon Press, 1981.

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