Scj Blog 800x460px Body Language

Pay attention to your body language

By Gemma Raw

​If you’re preparing for your next substance misuse worker job interview, it’s imperative that you take a few moments to consider whether your body language is in tune with what you are saying.
You may think that you’re impressing the hiring panel – after all, you have the skills and qualifications required for the role. You’re fully prepared for any question and you’ve done your research, so you know what to expect from the potential employer. But are you truly aware of what your body language is telling the hiring panel whilst you are answering their questions? 

As part of your substance misuse training, you’ll be aware of how to read body language and pick up on subtle hints, but it’s very easy to forget how we use our own bodies. In an interview situation, you need to project yourself as confident yet approachable. Qualified and professional, yet relatable. It’s a difficult mix but it’s something which can be managed with your mannerisms and demeaner. 

Here are some of our top tips to help you in your next substance misuse interview. 

Making the most of your confidence

As you walk into the interview room, you should let your confidence shine through – no matter how nervous you may feel. Greeting the interviewer with a big smile and a hearty handshake will immediately portray a strong and confident image. 

It’s also important to hold and maintain eye contact. When you’re answering questions, take the time to look at the interviewer and engage them in conversation. It’s a natural reaction to look away, but by maintaining eye contact, you can feel more confident that they are listening to what you are saying.

Try to limit distractions

When you sit at the desk, make sure that you sit straight in a neutral position. Don’t slump or slough, and do not tap your foot against a table leg. If you do, it could give the impression that you’re not really interested in the job. We would also reiterate not playing with any loose strands of hair (it may be wise to tie it back, out of the way) or if you have a pen, do not tap it or repeatedly click the top. Not only is this distracting for the panel but it could ensure that you lose your own train of thought and distract yourself! 

As a substance misuse worker, you’ll be more aware than most of how to read body language. These suggestions may seem simple, but sometimes a quick reminder can be worth its weight in gold.