Body language tells a story all its own. Most of us are familiar with the basic concepts. Whether it is turning away from someone slightly, lack of eye contact, or a particular standing pose, your body language can speak volumes about your emotions. Becoming aware of your body language can benefit you greatly in preparing for interviews and engaging in networking.
For an interview, preparation is key. But, as we have probably all experienced, even after extensive preparation, you may walk into an interview with anxiety. Cue a little trick, courtesy of society’s body language knowledge: watch your arms. Crossing your arms in conversation not only indicates that you are closed-off to the other person, but also conveys discomfort. Conversely, opening your arms will have the opposite effect. This shows that you are confident, both to others and to yourself as your body signals your brain of the change. Perhaps the most useful way you can use this knowledge is to keep your arms loose before the interview. Even putting your arms in the air in the bathroom stall (or inconspicuously inside your car) before the interview can give you some stress relief. Try it sometime, and see if it gives you a confidence boost.
For more about body language, check out this classic TED talk by Amy Cuddy.