Using Hypnotic Techniques to Improve Your Body Language for Interviews
Clients often ask for help with their body language while being coached for interviews. Simple hypnotic techniques can enable them to easily improve their body language and make them appear confident. How is this related to hypnotherapy you might ask? Well, it is the unconscious mind that controls the body signals we give off triggered by our emotions and feelings and as hypnotherapy focuses on change in the unconscious mind these are great and fast techniques to help you grow in confidence for interviews.
One example relates back to our pre historic ancestors and just to prove how some parts of us humans never change here is the evidence. ‘Fight or Flight’, we all know what that means. Let’s say you are going into an interview, one that you aren’t looking forward to. It could be because you are going to be assessed or you haven’t interviewed in a long time. How do you feel? Ordinarily most people would feel a variety of nerves, stress, fear and apprehension, to one degree or other, depending on the individual; those are our emotions and feelings, and these translate through to our actions – our body language. You could, therefore demonstrate these feelings, unconsciously, without realising, by clenching your jaw, running to the loo, tensing your shoulders, increasing your breathing, raising your body temperature and so on.
These are all symptoms of flight or fight and the reason for this reaction is that the body is unconsciously preparing itself to fight or flight. Fight symptoms are tensing up the muscles/jaw, think of a Karate fighter or boxer, the reason being if the body is tensed up it hurts less to be hurt. Flight symptoms are running to the loo – the body’s way of lightning the load so you can run faster, warming up the body – helps the muscles respond faster and causes less strain on the body when running away.
So you see we really haven’t moved on from our pre-historic ancestors who put all these reactions to good use when facing a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and probably flight would have come in easier then. But they aren’t much help when you need to act professionally in front of other human beings who aren’t looking to kill you – even if metaphorically they may want to ‘grill you’ and eat you for dinner!
So how can we get a handle on these unconscious and unnecessary actions to allow us to perform at a professional level for an interview we aren’t looking forward to? Here is a technique used time and again with success.
1. Get a different outlook
The first thing is to take a different perspective – step above and look down on the situation. Take some time out in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing, focussing on the feeling of the air through the nostrils. Once you are feeling calmer, than when you started, begin to visualise. See yourself from above, way up in the clouds, like you are flying over the town you work in and looking down on it. Feel the air on your face as you glide around, smell the freshness of the clean air, hear the breeze brushing past your ears and enjoy that feeling of lightness flying around free as a bird. When you are ready look down from up there and see your work building, or wherever your interview is taking place – see how tiny it is – how it’s surrounded by buildings, and all the tiny people walking about on the streets like ants scurrying around looking so self important when they are not in the grand scheme of things. Then imagine you have x-ray vision and see through the walls of the building into the offices, can you see the rooms, the furniture, the people, so small and tiny. Then see the person or people (if you have met them) you are going to be interviewed by – how miniature they appear walking around they look so funny down there all tiny. You might begin to notice that you are seeing how insignificant these people look now you have another perspective. This will make you feel better about the interview now you just translate it through your body by:
2. Building your self-confidence and translating it through to your body language
This will give you a better image to others looking at you. Sports people are trained to project self-confidence in their body language, as it can help them feel better inside and make others respect them – and even make their competition feel slightly intimidated. So if sports people can use this in their business so can you. A simple method is to relax again by taking some time to concentrate on your breathing and close your eyes, if you are able. Think back to a time when you felt really confident – maybe it was years ago or even recently, it can be anything at all, but it should give you the feeling inside that you had then of confidence. While remembering this check that you body posture is reflecting the confident feeling, your feet firmly planted on the ground, back straight, shoulders relaxed back and down, head straight and tilted slightly up, hands relaxed calmly by your side or in front. Take a couple of deep breaths and smile lightly. Really feel that confidence inside build up, as you hold your confident posture, and allow it to fill you up from head to toe. Now each time you need to raise your confidence all you need to do is this and then go into that interview and enjoy it.
Article written by Clare Reed, Senior Interview Coach (qualified Hypnotherapist and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist) RTO Group © 2009
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