1. How would you feel if a stranger were to stand right next to you and start a conversation? You might feel uncomfortable or even offended at their violation of your personal space. This is where proxemics comes in.
Proxemics examines the way that we use space and distance to communicate. The distance between us and other people indicates the nature of our communication with them. So, remember to keep a respectful distance between you and your interviewer.
2. People around the world have different perspectives of time.
Chronemics refers to the way that we use time to communicate. You can consider chronemics a time language. For example, keeping an interviewer waiting or rambling through your responses can be insulting, and can even tell them that you are not genuinely interested in the interview and what it can lead to. So, don’t waste your interviewer’s time! Be on time and be prepared.
3. Have you ever read a text from someone, and then spoke to them, only to realize that you completely misinterpreted their text? They could have said the exact same words that they texted, but there was just something about how they said it that helped their message come across how they intended it to. What could that something be? Paralanguage.
Paralanguage, or vocalics, encompasses the components of speech that add nuance to your verbal communication – including your tone, pitch, the way that you emphasize certain words, your volume of speech, your pattern of pronunciation, pauses, and even silences. So, plan your interview responses in advance to make paralanguage work for you. Try emphasizing keywords that directly relate to what you are being interviewed for, or fluctuating your tone to keep the interviewer engaged in your responses.
4. Haptics refers to communication by touch. A touch can convey various meanings from professionalism to affection. When incorporating touch into your communication, it is important to respect people’s boundaries and stay within their, and your own, comfort zone.
One way that you can use haptics to your advantage during an interview is to shake your interviewer’s hand when you meet them. Haptics can be awkward to work through, so try reaching your hand out to shake your interviewer’s hand but stopping short of actually touching them. If your interviewer reaches out to shake your hand, shake their hand to show them that you are confident and professional. Don’t forget to avoid fiddling with objects around you, such as a pen or papers, because this can tell an interviewer that you are nervous and come across as unprofessional.
5. How do you express yourself?
Artifacts are the objects or images that you choose to surround yourself with to convey a particular self-image or vibe. Brand names, logos, jewellery, watches, tattoos, makeup, and even accessories are examples of artifacts. Be mindful of the artifacts that you bring along to an interview. Do not hide any aspects of your personality, but make your artifacts work for you! Try wearing clothing and/or makeup that fits the level of professionalism of the place where you are interviewing and the role that you are interviewing for.
6. Have you heard of organizational culture or organizational climate?
Well, these terms relate to the physical and psychosocial environment of an organization. Organizational culture refers to the dynamic set of rules, or “norms”, that are followed in an organization, and the deep-rooted values and beliefs that drive the organization as a whole. Organizational climate refers to individuals’ perception of being an active member of that organization and its culture. Before going into your interview, do your research on the organization’s culture and climate – make sure that they align with your goals and beliefs.
7. Kinesics is all about your body language.
Have you been told to maintain eye contact with your interviewer? Or to use a few professional hand gestures and facial expressions, but not overdo it?
You were given this advice, because your body language speaks volumes about your personality and professionalism. In interviews, it is especially important to mind your body language. So, remember to maintain natural eye contact, sit with good posture, and smile. You can also try nodding your head while the interviewer is talking to show that you are actively listening to them.