Interview tips 101: Let’s talk about body language

By Magdalene Lee, Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre

Have you heard of the “7-38-55” rule? If you have any interviews coming up, whether for internships or jobs, this is something that you’ll want to know about.

Drawn from studies by Albert Mehrabian, this golden rule refers to the three elements that make up the message that a person conveys, and which influence our liking for that person. Words account for a mere seven per cent, tone of voice accounts for 38 per cent, and body language accounts for a whopping 55 per cent.

This rule is especially relevant during job interviews, because your non-verbal cues can reflect your confidence level and also affect the outcome of your application. Here are some tips to ensure that your body language leaves a good impression on hiring managers:

1) Greet with a genuine smile and a firm handshake

2) Maintain a friendly eye contact with the interviewers

3) Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor — no fidgeting! — and lean slightly forward

4) Place your hands on the table or on your lap. Never rest your face on your palm!

5) Show your enthusiasm with a smile and an interested expression. (But not too intensely!)

6) Avoid crossing your arms or touching your face

Armed with these tips, go forth and dazzle your interviewers!

P.S. Practice makes perfect. It’s a good idea to make an appointment with your career counsellor at the Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre (DKHMCC) for a mock interview, and get some useful feedback before you go for a real one.