Have you heard of the 55/38/7 rule of Communication? This “equation” concludes that Nonverbal Communication is ultimately more important than the words that come out of your mouth. What an interesting perspective, right? You know how they say, first impressions always count; if you think about that for a moment, you realize that the first impression you give off is indeed your body language.
According to researcher Albert Mehrabian in his book “Nonverbal Communication”, 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of your voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken.
How does this magic formula pertain to today’s hiring world?
Today, hiring professionals use immersive communications platforms (i.e. Zoom, etc.) more than ever and it is important to be prepared for these newer interview styles.
Quick tip: Keep in mind, you need to crank up your online performance/presence (more than you think) because we must make up for the other ques that get lost in the online virtual game.
Previously, there was a personable factor of walking into a room, greeting each other, and having a seat, where the hiring professional could pick up on the 55% of the body language of what matters in Communication (until now). Now, it’s very much a "lights, camera, action" approach. Therefore, that first impression goes more directly into the tone of your voice, (previously 38% of the communication game), and what you actually say (previous 7%).
Why does this all matter?
Knowledge is power and the hiring process skill-sets are vastly different than a year ago. From a professional perspective I believe – like ALMOST everything in today's world – the magic Communication equation has shifted as well. I am convinced the new Communications Equation is more of a 33/33/33 equation.
Circling back to the first blog of the New Year, Be You series – all about personality types – everyone has a different approach to how they communicate, depending on whether they are an (I)ntrovert or (E)xtrovert. Knowing this and how the interview process has changed, everyone must keep in mind that WHAT we say and HOW we say it are equally important as how you LOOK on screen. Flair, charisma, and congeniality are no longer the heavyweight communication champions.
How do you prepare?
1. Body language: 33%. You might not have that initial moment when you would normally walk into the room and people have a minute to gauge who you are by picking up on your body language and energy; however, everything from your posture, smile, and engaging eye contact still matters. First and foremost, make sure your background/lighting is perfect, your connection is prime, and that your voice sounds clear as day so you can fully express who you are and what your value is. Make sure your audience is not distracted and giving you their full attention. You cannot rely on only your skills to pull you through virtual interviews because they feel vastly different than speaking to someone in person and that can throw you off in your moment to shine.
2. Tone of your voice: 33%. So what is important about tone? It's as simple as this, do you sound Confident and Prepared or Unassertive and Unqualified? Even if you normally have a dynamic, perfect-for-radio voice - if there are distractions (i.e. that 5 o'clock shadow on your face, you look grainy through video, mic issues), it is likely your tone will be overlooked and more difficult for the hiring professionals to take you and the interview seriously. Prepare, prepare, prepare! I can promise you that practice does indeed prepare you for success and your tone will come off as more genuine. These might all seem like common sense but if you do not actually test things and practice before and on the big day, it is very easy for everything to go downhill real quick if one thing is off. We highly recommend using a headset or headphones.
3. The actual words spoken: 33%. Make sure you look up typical questions asked to prepare responses and actually video yourself practicing how you are going to convey your answers, more importantly, your VALUE on camera. There are many questions that are common across the board among many industries, such as, Why should we hire you? What are your strengths/What are your weaknesses? Tell me a time you had a conflict with a supervisor or colleague, what happened and how did you handle it? It is important to understand your interview strengths and learn how to improve your weaker communication approaches to truly convey your value proposition to anyone - especially on these virtual platforms and new communication lifelines.
You might be the perfect candidate for the company, so do not let possible diversions or little to no preparation hinder individuals from getting to who you really are and your essential value to their company.
Interested in improving your interview skills? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (208) 329-6528 to learn more.
We look forward to guiding your communication style and techniques to strengthen what you already know to just knowing how to say it in a way that matters and hopefully it gets you that fulfilling job role to embark on a more fulfilling life.
All the best for 2021! Let’s communicate more, fear less. Focus on reinventing how you communicate what makes you special and be a force to reckoned with in the world today.