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  Non verbal communication
Be honest! We all draw conclusions about someone just from what they look like.....
A lot of judgements are made about people from visual impressions, and how they say things instead of what they say. And once a judgement's been made, it's difficult to reverse it.

To make a judgement about us based on non-verbal communication a positive one.


The key is understanding what people base judgements on. It really doesn't matter whether they're right or wrong - if their judgement is negative, you don't get the job.

^^Back up

    The body  
Blue line Blue line

Some people say that it's possible to ‘read' a body - that every small movement has a meaning, that will tell you something about a person's personality and mood. Even if that's true, though, some of the ‘language' changes from culture to culture - and in any case you're not likely to be interviewed by someone with such detailed knowledge.

Much more important, in a situation like an interview, is the possibility of someone seeing movements of yours caused by nervousness and thinking they have another meaning. For example, a person who doesn't make eye contact is often regarded as having something to hide. Someone sitting back in a chair gives the impression of not being very interested. (Next time you're in a long discussion, look at the way someone who's bored leans back into their seat.)

The solution is not to make nervous movements - easy to say, of course, but the point is to be sufficiently prepared for an occasion like an interview that your body language is natural.


This can be a tricky area. From your point of view, your clothes might just be what you feel comfortable in. To someone else, they may seem to be making a deliberate ‘statement', such as "I dress to be comfortable, not smart". Again, it really doesn't matter who's right. What's important is the impression that's given.

Unless you know otherwise, it's safest to assume that in a business environment clothes should be formal - whatever ‘formal' means in a particular culture (and in a particular type of climate, especially where it's hot and humid).

At a first meeting - such as an interview - most business people are likely to think of your appearance in terms of words like ‘tidy', ‘clean' and ‘unobtrusive'. They may add ‘smart' or ‘business-like', depending on the job you're applying for, and also the industry it's in.

For example, if the job would mean dealing face-to-face with customers, a company will have standards of appearance. Even if they provide uniform, they rely on employees to look after the rest of themselves.

If in doubt, ask what's expected before you arrive for an interview, rather than guess.

^^Back up

Don't just think about the job, think about the advert.

Anyone listening to you, either face-to-face or on the telephone, is interested most in what's being said, and then in the words and expressions used - can you express yourself clearly? is there a lot of slang in what you say? and so on.

But the way we say things is also bound to be noticed. Being quiet is taken to mean lacking confidence, being loud the opposite. Speaking fast, especially if you have a strong accent, can make you difficult to understand. Put yourself in the other person's place: if you were hearing your voice for the first time, would you seem too soft, too loud or too fast?


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