The Fine Art Of Communicating Your Best Self
Your body language doesn't just explain you - it creates you
Right now, what's your body doing? Are you hunched over, curled up, scrunching your shoulders? Body language is a meaningful form of nonverbal communication. Mute a video, and you can still guess how someone feels by their hand gestures and facial expression. But would you be surprised to hear that your own body language can have a profound effect on how you feel about yourself?
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy studies the body language people use when expressing power. It's surprisingly universal. And in the business world, says Cuddy, you can use body language to your benefit: "When you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful."
In her fascinating TED Talk, "Your body language may shape who you are," Cuddy explains the science behind this theory, and demonstrates how you can become more powerful by striking the occasional "Wonder Woman pose." Watch it now or bookmark it for later. Watch it
Interview questions you love to hate
"What's your greatest weakness?" "So, tell me about yourself." "Any last questions for me?"
These are all common directives candidates frequently tell me they dread in interviews. But there's a reason hiring managers ask them. Take "What's your greatest weakness?" A lot of candidates think it's a trick question. They answer it by describing their strengths in a jiu jitsu humble-brag technique: "I work too hard."
But in all honesty, hiring managers aren't looking for your strengths here. They legitimately want to know where they can work with you to support you better in this role. They're also looking for insight into whether you'd be a good cultural fit. Your best bet is to be honest. (But not TOO honest, know what I mean?)
As for the other questions, I highly recommend the Fast Company read "Why longer responses to 'So, tell me about yourself' are better." Read it
Best practice for walking someone through your resume
When someone asks you to "walk me through your resume," how do you react? If your first thought is, "I already sent it to you, didn't you read it?" do not, under any circumstances, say this out loud. Take it from me, a person who reads a looooooot of resumes. The hiring manager or recruiter you're talking to may or may not have pored over your resume in advance. But that doesn't matter.
They are NOT asking you to read the resume line by line. Boring. What they're really asking is if you can articulate yourself and tell a convincing narrative about your career arc so far. They ARE hoping you'll add insight and color to the dry descriptions on the page. They also want to hear how the experience on your resume maps directly to what you can bring to the role and company in question. This is a conversation which should elicit a positive, creative, charismatic response. So if you're getting ready to interview soon, one of the best ways you can prep is to practice walking through your resume with a partner..