Reading Your Environment

Social cues are expressions and body language which are essential when learning how to read others in your environment or to further communicate with others around you. This type of skill can aid you when interviewing for a job or register if others might (pose a threat/feel threatened). Misunderstandings through misreading or misrepresenting social cues can affect how people view one another.

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

There are four main types of social cues:

  1. Facial Expressions
    • Smiles, frowns, a raised eyebrow
  2. Body Language 
    • Slumping shoulders, shrugging, shaking of the head
  3. Voice through Tone and Pitch
    • Speed or inflation of speech
  4. Personal Space aka boundaries
    • Standing too close to someone

Social Cues for Job Interviews

  • Basic Manners
    • Strong handshake
    • Wait until allowed to sit down
    • Address interviewer by his/her name
    • Refer to your seniors and ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’
  • Code of conduct
    • Interviewers evaluate you based on behavior
    • Do not swear or use foul or crude language
  • Style of Speaking
    • Address the interviewer in a polite fashion
    • Use keywords like ‘Thank you’, ‘Please’, and ‘Sorry.’
    • Use ‘Excuse me’ to attract attention if you wish to speak
    • Speak in a slow and controlled pace
  • Body Language
    • Do not fidget
    • Do not cross arms for this can be interpreted as anger or boredom
    • Do not cross legs this can appear too casual
    • Sit up straight; do not slouch
    • Look the interviewer in the eye
    • Smile
    • Too many hand gestures can be distracting
    • Remember stand and finish the interview with a strong handshake

These skills can be applied to any public speaking or presentation. Learn More about Rocking the Interview Process Here