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Interview techniques: Drew McAdams says let your body do the talking

Tue 13 Jul 2010 21:26

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Body language expert Drew McAdam gave The Hour some great tips on the correct conduct in an interview. With the number of candidates for each position on the rise that first impression is even more important.

Drew is a well known TV personality with special talents that some people might call mind reading or psychic. However, Drew says he calculates exactly what a person is thinking, rather than what they are saying, by studying their body language and micro-expressions. The result is a highly entertaining system that combines all this skill and experience into one package which he calls 'MindPlay'. He believes that this can help in the job market too.

He said: “I’ve got every job I’ve ever went for, probably about six or seven. I’ve been fired from a few as well but I did actually get the job in the first place.”

Drew advised the best thing to do is stay relax, nerves are an easy thing to be overcome with. However, people do not realise that the physiology between nerves and excitement are exactly the same; the sweating palms, the heart racing and the butterflies in your stomach. The only difference is in your mind, its how you perceive what you are experiencing.

Drew said: “So by jacking yourself up and thinking ‘yeah I’m really excited about this’ as opposed to ‘oh God I’m going to fail miserably’ you will do better.

Body language is a huge part of controlling the interview, the first minute in the company of the employer, when you are making that initial impression, is incredibly important. A good confident manner will really help the situation.

Drew said: “Often, interviewers themselves will tell you, it’s not what somebody said it but how they said it that’s important. The answers could be good enough and work, but it’s how they are putting themselves across that’s what’s for sale, not what they’ve said.”

To achieve a rapport with the interviewer don’t be closed in body language, with the head facing down or mumbling. It’s crucial to keep the head up and speak in audible tones to prevent awkwardness. Hands are said to betray what a person is thinking so keep them open with the palms displayed, as that is a more honest position.

The handshake is incredibly important, it’s good to make a strong first impression with a pleasant and firm handshake. Drew maintains that this form of greeting can say a lot about a person.

He said: “Use a good firm grip, hold eye contact add a nice nod of the head and keep smiling.”

Head tilting is something many people do with out even realising, friends or people who are close tend to sit with their head slightly to one side. It’s a show of trust as it makes people vulnerable, as you are exposing the side of your neck.

Drew said: “If you watch people that are good friends they will not sit bolt up right with the head staring straight ahead almost like a predator, the head is to the side and it’s casual and relaxed.”

Lack of eye contact is off-putting. The trick is not just holding the eye, it’s vital to look interested and show that you are really listening. It’s also important not to stare as this will distract the person you are addressing, and may reflect badly in the course of the interview.

Drew said: “If you think ‘what colour are that person’s eyes?’ it is like you are interested in them and it’s a totally different look that the person gets.”

Subtle mirroring of the persons movements can also form a bond. Many people, especially those in a relationship, do it subconsciously. Drew likened it to a dance, one person moves and then a second later the other copies.

He said: “It’s good to do because it puts you in sync with the other person, it creates empathy, it creates a rapport and the person thinks ‘I like you’.”

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