Now more than ever, it’s important for interviewers to like you. Given candidates who are equally matched in terms of credentials, skills, and experience, a hiring manager will pick the person they like the most. There’s just one problem: most of the advice we’ve been getting about body language is giving us habits that come off as, well, kinda creepy.
(Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaquar/Flickr)
Take the classic advice about eye contact, which is that we should make it, a lot, gazing boldly into our interviewer’s eyes in order to seem confident and forge a connection. There’s nothing wrong with that — unless you do it too much.
“People are overdoing the eye contact,” says Janine Driver, president of the Body Language Institute, in a segment on The Today Show.
Good eye contact, she says, is about 60 percent of possible eye contact. The idea is to “connect and disappear,” not stare steadily at your (now terrified and massively uncomfortable) conversational partner. Any more than that, and you might come off like a cop interrogating with a criminal suspect, or a salesperson (one who’s not very good at his job).
Focus on the upside-down triangle, from the eyebrows to the nose, Driver advices. Looking at someone’s forehead looks like you’re talking down to them, and looking at someone’s lips looks like you’re about to ask them on a date.
Non-facial body language also matters, of course.
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