“Your gestures are being observed in PI”
In a personal interview (PI), both verbal and non-verbal communication skills of a candidate are tested – interviewers focus on your ideas (what you are saying) and how you are conveying those ideas. Both verbal and non-verbal communication skills are important for effective communication, which is why ample practice is required before stepping into the interview room.
In a personal interview (PI), interviewers observe your body language, particularly your gestures. Gestures include the movement of the hands and face and they should match the content of your speech , an important thing that you should take note of is that a straight face will get you nowhere. Every sentence that you utter is laden with emotions and these emotions should be complemented with gestures.
When good speakers say something exciting, their hands start moving and their emotions are reflected on their faces – this gets the audience excited too. If the same exciting content was communicated with a straight face, it will not reach the audience. As an interviewee, you should be able to connect with your interviewer and this determines the impact of your speech. So, ensure that your body language is in sync with your message and that your words express confidence.
Eye contact is extremely important in an interview. If there are two or more interviewers in the interview room, make an effort to maintain eye contact with each one of your interviewers. Do not keep touching your face during an interview as this signifies anxiety.
Exude confidence throughout the interview – when you enter the interview room, acknowledge the interviewers and shake their hands firmly. Once you take a seat, sit upright and show interest in what the interviewer is saying. Many people undermine the importance of non-verbal communication but it is as important as verbal communication and it can either make or break your academic career.
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