“As If!”: Body Language and the Interview

January 28, 2010 at 6:50 pm (Assignments) (, , , , , , , )

5,480,000. This is how many results you will generate if you type ‘body language and interviews’ into Bing’s search engine.

While I was going through one of the sites dos and don’ts list I thought to myself, “I’ve never done a proper office interview.” You might be wondering how I got my internship if I didn’t properly interview. I did what I would consider an unconventional interview; I met my boss at GSU’s PR Mocktails event. Through this process I’ve been learning that, yes it’s okay to play by the rules, but you have to rip out the essential pages and write your own book. The thought of deviating from the convention scares me, but the last year has been economically scary, so why not burn a few dated books. Hey! Everyone likes a good bonfire!

Back to the Mocktail

I’m secretly a shy person (probably why I still cling to the book of convention), so I had one of our professors introduce me to the person I wanted to talk to. After that, I presented myself as an energetic, self-motivated learner, who was truly interest in the museum world. My then possible employer presented me with her business card; I then followed by saying, “Here let me give you my awesome business card.” It wasn’t as awesome as I could have been, but I was excited about it.

My second interview with my boss happened to be a phone interview. Yes, they are great because you can have all of your information in front of you, but it does have unique challenges that an in person interview does not have. For instance, moments of silence while you collect your thoughts can be misconstrued as not understanding or hearing the question.

Phone interviews I feel should be prepped for just like in person interviews.

•Dress the part. The idea of landing a job in your PJs is cool but it doesn’t help you get in the game (sorry for all of the athletics references, the Super Bowl’s coming up, GO SAINTS!)
•Use facial expressions. The true tone and meaning of your remarks can get lost without the visual of your lovely face. In my younger glee club days (jk!) we used to have to go on stage with these larger-than life, deer in headlights look on our face, so that everyone in the audience could see our faces. Also, the muscles in your face affect the pitch of your voice.
•Have someone you don’t know (friends parent, etc.) practice a mock phone interview with you.

Here are three articles that discuss body language:

•Forbes: Is Your Body Betraying Your In Job Interviews?
•SelfGrowth.com: Body Language During a Job Interview
•MSN w/Careerbuilder.com: Body Language and the Interview

Points that were mentioned repeatedly were posture and body position. A funny way I remember body language is from the movie Clueless. The teachers are having coffee on the park bench and Cher is telling Dionne that both teachers are really into each because of their body language.

Just remember, you might be saying one thing while your body is saying another. Happy Interviewing!

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7 Comments

  1. ashleyprisfunrenfroe said,

    thoughts: 1) wow that’s a lot of results on bing! 2) congrats on the internship 3) i could kick myself for not being about to go to the mocktail 4) secretly shy, good presenter…totally me 5) clueless is the best!
    GREAT BLOG!

  2. Comments « Public Relations and Me… said,

    […] Shannon McCloud […]

  3. marielorelei said,

    I never understood the whole idea behind the suggestion to get dressed up for phone interview. I’m sure that the main part of the rationale is the idea that being dressed up will help put you in the right mind set for interviewing. I choose not to get dressed up for phone interviews because I think the idea is just silly. I sell myself just fine in pajamas.

    I’m glad that the mocktail helped you with your shyness issue. The main way to tackle the sky factor is to talk to strangers and do it as often as possible. I had a night class that semester so I actually missed the mocktail, now I kind of wish that maybe I had gotten the chance to attend. Hopefully there will be another this semester and I’ll have the space in my schedule to attend.

    • smcclou3 said,

      Part of dressing up is to get in the right mindset, but for me, it’s also a confidence thing. Pjs are awesome.

      Oh, I’m still really shy in large groups of my peers (always got along better with adults). Thanks for the advice. The mocktail was really nice, it helped me get my current internship, so any networking is good. I hope that they have another mocktail and that you do get the opportunity to attend.

  4. Practicum Blog Comments (11) « Life as a Dreamer said,

    […] “As If!”: Body Language and the Interview by Shannon […]

  5. brittlindsay said,

    This post is great. Your tips for phone interviewing is on point. Being prepared by dressing the part does help make you feel more professional. Your situation of meeting your employer through a mocktail on campus is a great example of why students should attend the event on campus. As Georgia Southern students we receive a lot of opportunities that other student do not. The problem is that these amazing opportunities are not being taken advantage of. Students should learn as freshmen that attending these events are going to make them readily prepared for their future. Most seem to learn this at their junior or even senior year. Hopefully, you have encouraged others to attend these events.

  6. Blog Comments 16-25 « Brittney Lindsay: I Am My Own Brand said,

    […] “As If!”: Body Language and the Interview by Shannon: This post is great. Your tips for phone interviewing is on point. Being prepared by dressing the part does help make you feel more professional. Your situation of meeting your employer through a mocktail on campus is a great example of why students should attend the event on campus. As Georgia Southern students we receive a lot of opportunities that other student do not. The problem is that these amazing opportunities are not being taken advantage of. Students should learn as freshmen that attending these events are going to make them readily prepared for their future. Most seem to learn this at their junior or even senior year. Hopefully, you have encouraged others to attend these events. […]

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