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We’ve all heard about the importance of our body language during an interview.  Few of us, however, are even consciously aware of how we come across.  Chalk it up to nerves or just wanting to make a really good impression and forgetting everything we knew about doing so, but too many times, we completely miss the boat until we’re out of the door and then think, “Oh no….did I cross my arms when he mentioned the need to travel?”  Relax.  Your physical presentation is important, says A. Harrison Barnes, career coach and founder, but it’s not the only thing an interviewer is considering as you’re meeting with him.  Still, it’s the total package that you’re aiming for, so here are a few tips, straight from the renowned career coach, that should ensure you’re more confident than ever on your next interview.

Your resume has done its job.  It was articulate, complete and flowed seamlessly through your education and career history.  Now, it’s that face to face meeting you’re hoping will seal the deal with a job offer.  A. Harrison Barnes says the number one question he’s asked is, “What should I do with my hands?”  Sounds easy, right?  There are few times in our lives when we feel like a deer caught in the headlights, says the founder, but those first few moments in an interview when you’re invited to take a seat will make you wish you could sit on your hands just to get them out of your way.  Instead of resorting to those drastic measures, try to remain conscious of those few seconds after you’re seated so that you know you’ve deliberately placed your hands in your lap.  That sounds overly simple and obvious, but it’s a tool that works every time.  Odds are, you won’t give your hands a second thought afterwards, even if you tend to use your hands in conversation.  It will be the natural progression of your style.  One thing you shouldn’t do, however, is cross your arms.  It’s read by others as being closed.  Closed to ideas, closed to change and closed to another way of doing things; definitely not what you want to portray.

Foot on the floor or in your mouth?  Believe it or not, Barnes says whether you sit with both feet on the floor or legs crossed doesn’t make that much of a difference.  It’s the way your posture is when you’re seated that give off the vibes.  You don’t want to casually lean back in a chair as though you’re about the tip the chair onto two legs.  “It comes across as arrogant and even entitled”, says the founder.  Instead, follow the natural contour of the chair.  Rest your back against the chair back and mind your posture.

All of these tips seem obvious, but for anyone who has a remote memory of a recent interview knows how quickly these mini-obsessions can get in the way, especially when you’re trying to show your true, confident and experienced self to a potential employer.  Breathe deeply and find that happy medium between relaxed and confident versus laid back and arrogant.

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