Thursday, January 31, 2013

Job Interviews: Part 3 - Personal Space!

Welcome back to our Small Essentials of Interviewing series!

So far, we've discussed hands and feet. Now we're going to talk about...

Part Three: Personal Space.

The room your body takes up during a job interview can speak volumes. We should mention right away that ideas of personal space are malleable. How close is too close? That may depend on the country or culture in which you live. In the U.S., we advise keeping a distance of at least 19 inches from another person. If that's hard to visualize, think of two people shaking hands, their arms bent at the elbow. That's about the distance you want to keep between you.

Like this:

Imagine that invisible bubble surrounding the other person and honor it. That applies not just to handshakes, but your body language during the interview itself. If you're sitting, avoid crossing your ankle over your other knee. If you've brought a bag, keep it on the floor close to your feet – don't spread your belongings in the office. It might take practice to recognize where your body and belongings are in the space around you, especially if you've spent most of your life wearing a heavy backpack, unaware when you bump into other people (or when people bump into you). But it's worth learning. When you observe others' personal space, you show that you are self-aware and self-confident. 

Next time, we'll talk about accessories!

No comments:

Post a Comment