Chronemics in nonverbal communication

Communication Interview“Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.

– Charles Dickens

It is said that if you interview for employment and answer all questions correctly while effectively selling yourself, you might get the job. Honestly, it is easier said than done. While articulating properly is important, it’s imperative to understand that little things, too, can make a world of a difference between pass and fail.

You might think that non-verbal behaviour is incapable of sinking the ship. According to CollegeJournal, an interview comprises of 55% body language, 7% verbal communication, and 38% paralanguage or intonation. Hence, non-verbal communication is not just essential, but exceptionally vital to ace the process.

There have been numerous cases where qualified candidates did not make the cut due to their behaviour or manner of dressing. Body language in its entirety can wheedle out the no-getters from the go-getters. It is to the applicant’s advantage to fully grasp the fundamentals of non-verbal behaviour for ultimate success.

Basically, non-verbal cues:

  • Supplement verbal communication. Example: nodding your head when saying “yes”.
  • Define relationships between two people. Example: shaking hands when exiting the room.
  • Convey information about the emotional state of the applicant. Example: blinking too much or tapping your feet (nervousness and anxiety).
  • Give definitive feedback.
  • Control the flow of communication. Example: signalling to start or stop speaking.

Before we go any further, let’s throw some light on the different components that define non-verbal behaviour:

Body language or kinesics:

Body movements include posture, gestures, hand and head movements, or movements of the whole body. Body language constitutes a vital part of communication as it reinforces what an individual is trying to say while offering information about their emotions and attitudes. Sometimes, it’s possible for body language to conflict with what is being said. For example, when answering questions in an interview, a seasoned observer could pinpoint discrepancies in behaviour and use them to reach a certain conclusion.


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