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Body Language Course Part 7 | Selection and Counselling

You want to learn the Body language course then you are at the correct place this is the seventh part of Body language which will help you in communication.

Are you listening?

(Selection, appraisal and counselling)

 The interview

Every good manager knows that the aim of an interview – whether for selection, appraisal or counselling – is to encourage the interviewee to do most of the talking.

This means that the person conducting the interview should be an active listener as well as a questioner.

As a rule of thumb, managers should aim to ensure that the employee does the talking for about 75% of the time in selection and appraisal and up to 90% of the time in counselling.

Being receptive to the cues that interviewees give through their body language is just as important.

First impressions of body language

In the case of selection interviewing the first impression, the interviewee and interviewer have of each other often irrationally determines the outcome of the selection process.

The interviewer must be aware of such prejudices and the role that body language has in creating these first impressions.

There are some simple rules of neutralising first impression bias:

  • Be prepared to recognise your own prejudices and make allowances for them
  • Treat each interviewee similarly and try to ask the same questions
  • Remember that assumptions are not facts and do not constitute evidence.

Getting comfortable

In all three types of interview, getting the interviewee to relax at every start is important, as people tend to be more open and honest if they feel at ease.

It is often better to sit on low chairs around a coffee table, as this creates a more relaxed atmosphere.

Breaking the ice 

The interviewer’s initial questions should be very informal in order to encourage a natural dialogue. To reduce any possible tension by asking simply and with a smile: ‘have you done this before? Don’t worry, it’s easy’, followed by (a palm’s up) however don’t:

  • Start off with an accusatory tone of voice or remark 
  • Lean too far forward- it’s aggressive
  • Point – also aggressive
  • Sit back with arms and legs crossed – shows defensiveness
  • Lean back, hands behind head – superiority

If you appear aggressive, too formal or superior, you will delay getting to know each other and give the other person less of a chance to participate effectively.

Active listening to the body language course

The manager as an active listener should sound interested, smile, nod and maintain a reasonable degree of eye contact to encourage rapport. They should be watching as well as listening.

  • Cocking the head shows that you are actively listening.
  • Nodding the head slowly suggests that you are listening and wish the other person to continue.
  • A more rapid nod gives the impression that you agree with what you are hearing.

Making notes

In selection and appraisal, you should be making brief notes. If a table is here you may be tempted to use it to rest your notepad. It is better to use the clipboard to maintain the eye line.

Relaxed posture, easy rapport

If neither of you is relaxed, you will not get the best out of the interview situation. So watch out for defensive postures, such as:

  • Leaning back
  • Arms folded, ankles crossed
  • Tense smile.

Research indicates that unrelaxed postures not only reflect but create tension. most of us know that smiling makes us feel better, so awareness of your own body language course can actually make you think and feel differently.

Taking the strain 

During a face to face interviews, the perceptive manager should be able to identify the stressed employee.

This is especially important during an appraisal or a counselling session. When people are under too much pressure at work it tends to show in their moods,

body language and ability to cope with everyday tasks. Examples of body language typical of work-related stress are:

  • Hypersensitivity to mild criticism, or even to helpful advice
  • Displaying tense postures
  • Showing irritation, such as shrugging the shoulders, ‘tutting’ or casting their eyes to the ceiling.

Being able to read and understand posture signals is essentially a matter of experience.


An understanding and awareness of body language give the manager the insights and skills essential to the modern role of coach and facilitator.

Body language course opens up a whole new world of insight and understanding about how we communicate.

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