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You have made it to the interview, are confident about the interview, answer all questions in the interview but your body language is awkward and you are not in control of your gestures. The chances are that you will not be selected. As hurtful as it is, it shows the importance of gestures in the interview. Wrong gestures can create an unfavourable opinion about you and close the doors for you. The highly professional world of today demands confident, presentable people who are in control of their mind and body, to face the global world. Therefore, each movement that you make in the interview is scrutinised and has a direct impact on your chances.
What are Gestures?
Gestures form a part of non-verbal communication that complement the verbal communication and influence the way words are received. They include any intentional or unintentional body movement made during the course of a conversation. Usually, an aspirant stresses on the verbal part of the interview and prepares the things he/she is likely to say but ignores the non-verbal aspect, which jeopardize his/her chances. Gestures act as signals that indicate the candidate's attitude, personality and grooming, hence, are an important consideration in the final evaluation of the candidate.
An appropriate gesture used at the right time can impact verbal communication positively and make it more effective. It sends the signal to the panel that you are keen to put your best foot forward and know how to carry yourself. For instance,a handshake at the beginning and the end, wearing a smile throughout the interview,sittingstraight,nodding your head to show involvement and looking confident, enhance the impact of words and create a positive impression in the mind of the panellists. In contrast, inappropriate gestures such as, casual hand wave, digging your nose, slouching, fidgeting, avoiding eye contact and so on can put off the panellists and send the wrong signal that you are not serious enough, don't value the opportunity, don't respect the panel and are not well groomed.
Gestures to be avoided
Wrong and indiscriminate use of gestures can play havoc with your chances.
i. Eye Contact- Maintaining eye contact with the panellists is good but staring continuously is a sign of aggression. It might also suggest a threatening attitude.
ii. Posture- Sitting in the right posture is important. Sitting back in the chair suggests a too-relaxed attitude while bending forward can suggest too friendly or even threatening attitude.
iii. Fidgeting- Fidgeting is a sure sign of nervousness. Restless movements of the body, moving in the chair, fiddling with the mobile, touching your hair or face all reveal anxiety and lack of confidence, which leaves a bad impression on the panellists.
iv. Hand movements- Avoid making use of your hand unnecessarily. Any unwanted gesture is likely to distract the interviewers. Pointing a finger, even while explaining a point, is considered rude and can put off the interviewers.
v. Facial expressions- Your face must reflect your enthusiasm, warmth and keenness. Maintaining a grim face will not do you any good.
Avoid any gesture that shows casual attitude and be aware of the unintentional gestures that you may be in the habit of making, for instance tapping, leg shaking, playing with hands and so on. Just as a right gesture used at the right time is acceptable, a wrong gesture can ruin your chances.
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