10 things to do with your body in an important meeting
(interview, first date, flat mate interview, meeting the future in-laws for the first time or whenever)
1. Shake hands after the interviewer has offered theirs to you. This implies deference
2. Smile while you shake and make eye contact
3. Sit up straight, with your back against the seat (unless this means your feet dangle). This can be hard if you are tall as you won’t want to dominate them but better that than a slouching, lounging.
4. Sit still, allowing your foot to tap will betray anxiety, shuffling around in the chair can make you appear as if you lack self awareness and self control. Slouching can make you look too casual or even worse slovenly. It’s OK to lean forward to emphasise a point.
5. Put your hands in your lap if there is no table and on the table if there is. Use them for emphasis but avoid windmilling in an exaggeration fashion. No pointing! (appears aggressive) No arm crossing. No hands in pockets.
6. Cross your legs once, at the calves, not across the knees, crossing them across the thigh looks arrogant and at the ankles looks prissy and tucking them under the chair looks like you have something to hide.
7. If you need to shut the door, do it without turning your back on the panel, and then sit down without turning away, whilst smiling.. difficult but charismatic!
8. Engage with all the panel, look them all in the eye, not just the one who is asking the questions.
9. Look pleasant even if the question is a stinker, beware of eye rolling, frowning, pulling back to indicate dislike.
10. Keep your behaviour neutral not sexual, no flicking your hair, pursing your lips, licking your lips, tilting your head, holding eye contact too long…. You know how it works!