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The Best Seat in the House Print
Written by Abby Kohut   

As we learned last week, many people underestimate the importance of body language during the interview process. When you are interviewing, studies show that 55% of your communication is judged based on your body language. This suggests that an interviewer will make assumptions, based largely on your body language, as to whether you are self-assured, energetic, timid, truthful, stress prone, nice, enthusiastic, funny, etc.  Similar to your hand gestures, your position at the table and also in your seat can also affect your rate of success.

When you walk into the interview room, you are typically motioned towards a specific seat. In most cases the room only has two chairs and unless you haven’t eaten your Wheaties that day, you are quite aware of which one should be yours. However, in some cases, you are escorted to a room with several chairs such as a conference room. In this case, choosing a seat that is caddy-cornered to the recruiter is preferable when feasible. Typically friends or colleagues sit closer to each other than interviewer and interviewee so this moves suggests that you are "on the team".

During the interview, lean somewhat forward to show an interest in what the other person is saying. But avoid leaning too far forward because it makes you seem awkwardly eager. By contrast, tipping back in the chair is a sign of overconfidence and projects arrogance. The masculine leg cross with one ankle rested on the knee conveys an overly casual attitude.

Your posture reflects your energy, enthusiasm and self control. Try to adopt a posture that shows interest but still comes across as being relaxed. Sit up straight in your chair with your back against the back of the chair. If you slouch or hang sideways in your chair, it might give the impression that you are not that interested in the job or tired & unenergetic. Sitting on the edge of your chair can come across as being a little tense and might give the impression that you feel uncomfortable.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
The key is to find a position and stick with it. Constant shifting can make you look...well..."shifty". Study your body language before, during and after an interview. Be glad that you have earned a seat at the table, and then sit tight and hang on for the ride!
 
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Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!