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New Survey Reveals Top Ten Body Language Mistakes

New Survey Reveals Top Ten Body Language Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Chances of Getting Hired

Study Also Reveals Factors That May Make You More Likely to Get the Job

Job seekers with shifty eyes, reluctant smiles and limp handshakes may have more trouble landing a job.  A new survey of more than 100 UK business leaders reveals the top ten body language mistakes job seekers make during job interviews that could cost them the job as well as factors that may increase one’s odds of getting hired.

When asked to identify the biggest body language turnoffs in job interviews, employers pointed to the following:

Failure to make eye contact – 83 per cent

Weak handshake – 54 per cent

Failure to smile – 48 per cent

Crossing your arms over your chest – 41 per cent

Playing with something on the table – 40 per cent

Playing with your hair or touching your face – 36 per cent

Fidgeting too much in your seat – 34 per cent

Bad posture – 32 per cent

Using too many hand gestures – 13 per cent

Handshake that is too strong – 6 per cent

“Employers are evaluating the whole package during job interviews and the non-verbal cues job candidates give can be very influential on the hiring decision,” said Tony Roy, president of CareerBuilder EMEA.  “That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly prepare for anticipated questions and ask friends and family to provide feedback on how you are presenting yourself.  Practice means more confidence in your delivery and less anxiety that can lead to mishaps.”

The study also asked employers to identify factors that would them more likely to offer a position to one candidate over another equally qualified candidate.  Responses included:

The candidate with the better sense of humor – 35 per cent

The candidate who is better dressed – 28 per cent

The candidate who is involved in his/her community – 24 per cent

The candidate who is more on top of current affairs and pop culture – 18 per cent

The candidate who is more physically fit – 16 per cent

The candidate who is bilingual – 14 percent

The candidate who is more involved in social media – 9 per cent

To avoid body language faux pas during interviews, CareerBuilder recommends:

Stay calm.  Help to manage nerves by leaving your home with plenty of time to get to the interview, avoid caffeine and take deep breaths.

Practice, practice, practice.  Do your homework on the company, rehearse responses to common questions and come armed with examples of your accomplishments.

See for yourself.  Practice interview responses in front of a mirror or videotape yourself to see first-hand how you come across to the interviewer and adjust body language as necessary.

Survey Methodology

An online survey of 547 business leaders in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden was conducted in a range of organisations between 3 June and 8 June, 2011.  Business leaders included C-level executives, directors and senior managers with recruitment responsibilities.  The survey was conducted online by Shape the Future, a market research agency based near London which specialises in high speed online research.
The total sample size in the UK was 109, giving a margin of error of 9.4 per cent at 95 per cent confidence.  The survey was conducted strictly according to the code of conduct of the UK’s Market Research Society.


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