Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Body language is something that we all naturally interpret, but often are less aware of our own. If your body language demonstrates confidence and positivity, it will naturally make your interview run more smoothly and increase your chances of success at securing a place in medical school.
1. Stand up tall
A hunched posture can be interpreted as a lack of confidence, so try to stand up straight and proud - this way, you will look more assured and engaged with the interviewer. This applies both in the chair and as you walk into the room - it is an important component of your first impression.
2. Keep it “open”
Many people naturally sit with crossed legs etc, so whilst you might not need to focus on this too much, certainly it is important to not to close off your body with your arms as this will make you appear wary and closed off. Open palms, in particular, signal honesty and engagement, and try to make sure your shoulders are always facing the interviewer. Be careful not to overdo it though - do not sit with your legs open wide, for example - this can be seen as obnoxious and rude!
3. Eye contact - not too little, not too much
Making eye contact is essential to demonstrate engagement and interest in a conversation, but of course it is a fine balance as prolonged eye contact will come across as unnatural. Generally, a few seconds of eye contact at a time is a good rule of thumb. If you’re being interviewed by a panel, address the person who asked the question first and then make brief eye contact with the other interviewers before returning to the first interviewer.
4. Gesture whilst speaking
Gesturing is a natural part of communication for many people, but it can be a temptation when nervous to sit on or hide your hands. This can make a person appear distrustful, so do allow yourself to gesture and keep your hands free.
5. Nod whilst listening
This helps to show the interviewer that you are engaged in what they are saying. As with most body language pointers, don’t use this excessively, but it’s great where relevant.
6. Lean in
Again, this is a natural response that people have when interested in a conversation, so will help to make you appear engaged - keep your shoulders down and your chest high whilst doing so.
7. Do not fidget!
We normally recommend that you take a bottle of water with your to your interview to help with your nerves and dry mouth. However, leave it on the floor next to your chair so that you will not be tempted to fidget. If you are very nervous, keep your hands in your lap, but do not intertwine your hands as you may be tempted to begin fidgeting again!
Written by the BecomeAMedic Team
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