“The hand is the visible part of the brain” – Immanuel Kant
Let us know what to do with our hands while facing an interview. Which Hand Gestures are effective and which are distracting? What are the right and wrong ways to use our hands in interviews? The main takeaway is that we want our hand gestures to be in consonance with what we are saying.
Hand Gestures are an integral part of our communication process. Effective hand gestures are the outward expressions of our feelings, inner thoughts and emotions. Purposeful and spontaneous gestures define a man’s personality. According to Dr. Carol Kinsey Goman, body language expert and author of “The Nonverbal Advantage: Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work and The Silent” Hand gestures are really a powerful aspect of communication, from both the speaker’s and the listener’s end.”
Why hand gestures
Many body language gestures can be difficult to learn. But hand gestures can be rehearsed to the extent where we can have fairly good control over where our hands are and what they are saying. The effective hand gestures can go a long way in engaging and enticing the interviewers and helping them comprehend our messages. If we restrain our gestures, our speech becomes less effective and we may actually find it more difficult to find the right words. Putting a hold on our hand gestures prevent us from finding the right words.
Some people have a natural tendency to use their hands while speaking in interviews. That might come off as really passionate, expressive or it might be annoying to the interviewers. So if we prefer speaking with our hand gestures, we should know so how to do it without being irksome. Don’t opt for hand gestures just to add movement to your speech, but consider them as a way to keep the members in the interview board mesmerized and engaged with what you’re saying.
Getting the correct hand gestures
- Towards our heart Want to point out something important to the interviewers? Well emphasize it by placing a hand over your chest. This hand gesture sends out positive and emotional vibes to the other person. This matches statements like, “This is so important to me”.
- Palms upside position Want to make an impression? Use the palms upside gesture. When we speak with our palms facing up, this initiates a positive perception of us to the potential employers. Make a simple request with your palms facing up, and they will feel you are asking for a favor. They will not feel irritated by your request. But it will portray a different picture altogether if you make the same request with your palms facing down. This hand gesture will feel more like an order rather a simple request.
- Pointing upwards To show growth or increase, gesture upward or move your hand. This is usually done in anticipation of some expected growth or excitement.
- Steepled hands posture Do you want to look confident while facing the interviewers and have all the right answers? Well, steepled hands posture will do it for you! Although Steeple Hand gesture is a positive signal, it can sometimes be misinterpreted. So one has to be careful that the steepled hands gestures do not send out the wrong signals.
Avoiding the improper hand gestures:
- Pointing fingers: Do you have the habit of pointing fingers while speaking? Almost every gesture involving pointing fingers towards someone is sure to offend and insult someone, somewhere, at some time. In the professional world, this hand gesture indicates the behavior of a dominating person towards a subordinate. Refrain from using this hand gesture to drive home a point in the interviews. It might be considered as an aggressive gesture to single out an interviewer from the rest. This gesture is not appreciated since no one likes to be singled out. To play it safe, it is best to avoid pointing fingers as a gesture, unless we are absolutely certain it is appropriate for the particular situation. The safest approach would be basically open –handed gestures with all fingers generally being together.
- Crossing arms: Crossed arm gestures elicit certain implications. Crossed arms can hold our emotions and feelings in and keep other people’s out of our spectrum. They show that we have set up road barriers beyond which no person dares to trespass. If we stay with this position for too long, we end up projecting ourselves as negative to the rest of the world.
- Fidgeting: Feeling tensed and nervous in the interview? So fidgeting with your hands? Stop it immediately! You might lose out a good opportunity because of your fidgeting. However tense you are, the key to your success lies in your capacity to convince to your potential employers that you are calm, composed and pretty confident of your abilities. And fidgeting gives all the wrong impressions to the interviewers. To ensure that you fidget less while answering the interviewer’s questions, make subtle gestures with the hands while speaking. This will help you not to fidget and you shall come across as a much sure and animated person as result.
The Way Forward
Minding your hand gestures is important during an interview process. Hand Gestures can either make you or break you. By keeping the aforementioned tips in mind, you are certain to enter the interview room a much more confident person.