Positive Body Language at an Interview

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Well done for making it to the interview table – this proves that academically you are qualified to perform the job. The next hurdle, and it is a big one, is how to impress in person. This, in a nutshell, boils down to portraying an image of positive body language, which is extremely important in the medical profession; as effective communication is an essential part of building and maintaining good physician-patient and nurse-patient relationships.

Consider the following:
Check your appearance before entering the building, or alternatively find a (restroom/wc) wherever the interview may be held, if need be drink some cold water so that your mouth is not dry.

  • Appearance - conservative colours, do not wear too many colours, clothes should be clean and neat.  
  • Look groomed, this will show you have prepared for the interview - first impressions stick.  
  • Stand upright and have a firm handshake with whomever you meet.
  • Do not sit down first, wait until invited to take a seat.  Sit upright and avoid fidgeting.
  • Keep your hands still.

Look your interviewer in the eye and maintain eye-contact throughout the interview.  If you are before a panel try and give each member of the panel a glance – do not for the whole interview look at one interviewer only.

Speak slowly - remember your voice, this will reflect your personality, consider the tone of your voice avoid speaking in a monotone pitch, think about the clarity of  diction and pause on keywords – this will emphasise any significant points.  A good voice will also show ease and reflect your measure of confidence.

Wear a smile!  Show a willingness to learn and be flexible in anything which may initially appear to be a problem. Be optimistic but be careful not to come across too confident and overly presumptuous.  There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence.