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Projecting The Right Image during an interview - What does your body language tell the employer?

During The Interview – Projecting the Right image

Selling Yourself

So, I have explained the ins and outs of preparing for your new job interview and dealing with the stress element leading up to this; and then entering into the interview environment. You are now well dressed; have greeted your interviewer (s) correctly; created your comfortable sitting posture and are now ready to convince your interviewer that you are the man or woman that they have been searching for to fill that job opening. To some the actual performance comes easily. For others they have to work at it. Some people are natural born sales people and know how to sell themselves others are not so lucky. Generally speaking if you already work in a sales role, as I do, what I will explain next is really second nature and it is unlikely that I will be offering you anything that you don’t already know. Sales people are natural born performers whether it is due to their personality or due to the nature of the work they have previously carried out. The term “life is a stage and you’re on it” has never spoken truer than at a job interview. I have been on hundreds of sales courses and read many sales books over the course of my career such as “how to win friends and influence people” but it all comes down to one thing and that is getting a stranger to believe in you and, or, your product. At an interview you are the one that needs to put on a good performance. There are many different qualities the interviewer is going to be looking for in their potential candidate. These will encompass qualifications, experience, you as a person and the way that you integrate with others. Also they will consider your previous employment history, your enthusiasm towards your career, along with many other factors. So here are a few areas to think about. They are all really interlinked and if you can employ all of them at interview stage you are well on your way to getting that new job.

Show Your Interviewer That You Are Enthusiastic:

So what exactly is an employer looking for? Well firstly I would say enthusiasm. If someone asks you a question and you give a one word answer it doesn’t really look very enthusiastic. So the way to deal with this is to answer the question as deeply as you can. For example; Interviewer “Your background is in commercial liability underwriting but I see you are now involved in commercial property underwriting”. Don’t simply answer with a Yes or No answer, expand on it. You could answer along the lines of “Yes I was originally trained in liability underwriting, an area I spent several years working in which I thoroughly enjoyed. However I had the opportunity to expand my overall underwriting skills to encompass property underwriting so I jumped at the chance as I felt it would enhance my experience overall within my team”. Obviously you can tailor this to your own circumstances but you see what I am getting at. Be enthusiastic. Don’t just give one word answers. Make your interviewer interested in you and what you have done. Show him that you really are passionate about everything you do. To the interviewer this shows that you will have enthusiasm and dedication to your new job should they decide to employ you.

Show Your Interviewer You Are A Confident Candidate And That You Know Your Stuff:

Another area where all sales people are naturals is confidence! I know it’s not always easy when you are under pressure and nervous to ooze confidence, but this is a really important area. The more confident you are the more chance you will have of bagging the job. Try and expand on your answers again in this area. If you are asked a negative question try and respond with a positive confident answer. For example: Interviewer “You don’t appear to have done much cold calling for a while and this job will involve quite a large amount of self lead generation how do you feel about that?” You could answer along the lines of “Yes I haven’t been involved in cold calling for 6 months which has been quite disappointing to me as I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt that it was one of my strong areas. I really have missed this element of my work because I got the opportunity of speaking to new people each day. I really got a buzz when I finally closed a deal that I knew I had generated from start to finish. Cold calling is an area I am keen to get back into and it’s a talent that I feel comes naturally to me”.

Show Your Interviewer That You Are Positive:

It’s easy to become negative about anything in life, but in work life and a career environment, a positive person in the workplace can be a real asset to an employer. Positive people give off positive vibes and those good vibrations nearly always rub off on other employees. The end result creates a happy, proactive, enthusiastic work force which ultimately creates a better working environment and more efficient team. If you can demonstrate this quality to your interviewer at interview stage you will definitely impress them.

Watch Your Body Language:

Body language is an area that many interviewers will take seriously. What we do and how we do it can show underlying areas that can be picked up upon. Body language is an area that has been analysed for many, many years by professionals and interviewers alike. It really is amazing what you can learn from someone just by their mannerisms. As I have stated before I am no expert, but to give you an example, if you ask a person a question and their eyes gaze up thoughtfully to the left hand side of their eyeball you know that the chances of their answer being true are high. If on the other hand they look up to the right of their eyeball the chances are they are searching for a made up answer to your question. There are certain exceptions to the rule but the theory is based upon the fact that the left side of your brain is where you retrieve data from and the right is the fictional side of your brain! Interesting isn’t it and one to be aware of. Other areas that give off body language signals, without you knowing about them, are as follows:


1. Cross Your Arms: It makes you look defensive.

2. Sit on the edge of your seat.

3. Mess with your face or play with your jewellery or hair.

4. Rock on the seat.

5. Interrupt when being asked a question.

6. Give one word answers (unless the answer dictates a one word answer).


1. Smile as frequently as possible (especially when you are asked a question and respond to the person who has asked the question) but don’t overdo it!

2. Keep your hands in your lap; don’t wave them around all over the place.

3. Keep eye contact at all times (I don’t mean stare out your interviewer). If there is more than one interviewer, flick from person to person.

4. Be articulate and listen carefully to each question before giving your answer.

5. Keep calm and don’t panic!

The Interview - Next >

Quick Jump ...

  1. Preparing For The Interview
  2. How To Prepare
  3. First Impressions
  4. During An Interview - Coping With Nerves
  5. During An Interview - Projecting The Right Image
  6. The Interview
  7. The Most Popular Interview Questions
  8. The Tough Interview Questions
  9. Your Questions For The Interviewer
  10. Psychometric Testing
  11. Assessment Centers
  12. Second Interviews
  13. What To Do While Your Waiting To Hear
  14. What To Do If You Get The Job
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