Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Importance of Non Verbal Communication in an Interview

Whether you are in a social gathering or in an interview, the combination of verbal and non-verbal communication (gestures, postures and body language) is of utmost importance. On several occasions we tend to overlook the necessity of transmitting the right non-verbal signals and end up conveying wrong messages.

Employers always look at the candidate’s balance between non-verbal and verbal communication while conducting an interview. Certain non-verbal signals such as eye contact and overall body language are very important in their recruitment process. If they find a candidate constantly rolling his eyes or fidgeting, they immediately know that he’s lying.

For any recruiter it is crucial to keep in mind some of the basic non-verbal aspects:

1. Non-verbal first impression tools: The way you exchange cards, your handshake and eye contact – all create impact in the first few seconds of your interaction with the interviewers.

Also, pay attention to your attire and accessories as they too send quick non-verbal signals.

2. Posture: Although our sedentary lifestyles and constant use of technology gadgets have led to slouching and hunching for long hours, sitting/ standing upright during an interview signals – “I am confident” and “I am motivated to be with you”, signaling interest.

3. Fidgeting: Tapping your feet, drumming your fingers, doodling, touching your hair/ face – all conveys the same message “I would rather be somewhere else”. Instead minimise your body language gestures so that the interviewers can focus on your words and not get distracted by your non-verbal signals.

4. Physical space: People who are under-confident tend to shrink into their own bodies, reducing the space they take up physically and in the minds of their listeners. In an interview, sit confidently and use hand gesture

In case if any of the above non-verbal signal requirement is not met, the interviewer goes for cross-questioning rounds with the candidates. Over a period of time one can master the art of verbal communication. However, by putting the candidate in an uncomfortable zone through cross-questioning about past experience, recruiter can understand if the candidate is suited for the position. In several cases employers focus on the candidate’s overall presentation – starting from the time they enter the office premise to the time he leaves the recruiter’s room. Here, as the candidate remains unaware of their screening process to measure his non-verbal aptitude, employers end up getting valued information about him.

Though the weightage between verbal and non-verbal communication varies in different organizations, it is important to strike a balance between the two for a successful communication process. Companies are becoming more careful in their candidate selection process and even after recruitment the employees are provided with ongoing communication training to enhance the customer interaction level.

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