Don’t let bad body language cost you

1 min read

Body language is in the headlines, thanks to the second presidential debate.

Social media buzzed about Donald Trump walking behind Hillary Clinton as she answered questions during the town hall format. Trump claimed Clinton walked in front of him and invaded his space at the debate.

You might not be running for president in your lifetime, but chances are, your body language will affect you at some point when you’re gunning for a job you really want.

“Body language will always influence your interviewers,” says Roy Cohen, career coach and author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.” “What visual information you present is a distraction no matter how qualified you may be or what you tell them to demonstrate your knowledge. It won’t be heard because your interviewer won’t hear the message; the visual will derail your interview.”

In fact, whether conscious or subconscious, what type of body language you engage in during the interview could even cost you the job.

“If the job you’re interviewing for will involve interacting with other individuals within the organization, clients or vendors, you’re going to end up being disqualified early if you make people uncomfortable or you present an image that’s not aligned with how the company thinks their employees should present themselves,” Cohen says.

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To avoid a major interview fail, Cohen recommends watching where your hands go.

If you twirl your hair, that could be distracting. If you rest your hands on your chest or crotch, that could make people uncomfortable. Firmly shake the interviewer’s hand before and after the interview, Cohen says, but avoid touching the interviewer’s arm or shoulder during the interview. That could be crossing their personal boundaries.

“You want to sit comfortably, but not too relaxed,” Cohen advises. “Have good posture, a firm handshake, look your interviewer in the eye but do not stare them down. If you don’t look them in the eye, it seems like you’re hiding something. Be careful that if you do cross your arms, don’t cross your legs as well. It’ll look like your withholding information or that you’re not open in general.”

Don’t let your body language diminish your chances at scoring your dream gig.

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