10 Body Language Tips for Your College Interview

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  • When it comes to college interviews, a high grade point average will only get you so far.

    Of course, interviewers will factor your grades into the equation before deciding whether or not you make the cut. But being brainy won’t be enough if your college interview doesn’t go well.

    Statistics actually show that body language plays a role in conveying meaning in face-to-face situations. For instance, one oft-quoted study looks at body language, tone of voice, and words to determine how much each contributes to communicating a message. The findings?

    1. 55% – body language
    2. 38% – tone of voice
    3. 7% – words

    This breakdown is only applicable when you and the person you’re talking to are engaged in face-to-face communication, which is exactly the sort of thing that college interviews involve.

    Fortunately, there are some things you can do to ensure that your body language isn’t working against you, so what follows are 10 body language tips for your college interview. In fact, this advice, which comes courtesy of Forbes, can help with interviews, networking opportunities, and other situations involving face-to-face communication.

    1. Watch Your Posture: If you lean back, you may come across as, among other things, cocky. And if you slouch, you can give off the impression that you’re lazy.
    2. Eye Contact: While you don’t want to stare at the interviewers, you do want to establish meaningful eye contact since doing otherwise might be seen as a sign of dishonesty.
    3. Avoid Pointing: Some interviewers may interpret a pointing action, where you point with your finger to make a point, as an act of aggression. So avoid doing it.
    4. Watch Your Arms: Be careful about what you do with your arms during the interview. If you cross them, you can give the impression that you’re being defiant or even smug.
    5. Don’t Nod Too Much: It’s okay to nod in agreement from time to time, but doing it too often can come across as insincere.
    6. Sit Still: No, you don’t want to sit like a talking statue, but you don’t want to fidget, either. Moving about too much can distract the interviewers from what you’re trying to say.
    7. Hands in Front: Put your hands where the interviewers can see them. If your hands are behind your back, you can give the impression that you’re not very approachable.
    8. Mixed Messages: During the interview, make sure that the tone of your voice doesn’t contradict the expressions on your face. It can make you look insincere.
    9. Watch Your Eye Movement: If your eyes are moving about in every which way, you may give the impression that you’re either not confident or are in the midst of spinning a fib.
    10. Don’t Stare (See #2): As was mentioned before, eye contact in moderation is a good thing, but staring constantly may give your interviewers a case of the chills.

    So there you have it, 10 tips that will help you watch your body language for your college interview. Take them to heart and prepare to wow the interviewers. Good luck!

    Image credit: College Interview, on Flickr

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