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In such a competitive field, even having an honours degree in veterinary medicine and a glowing CV might not be quite enough to secure that dream job.
Presenting your prospective employer with the right impression through the clever use of body language could make the difference between a new career and rejection.
Here are a few ideas about body language for you to consider before your next interview:
It is true people form an initial impression of you during the first five seconds of your meeting, and this is especially important for a veterinary surgeon if you are to instil confidence in your clients.
Your interviewer will know this, so enter the room with a good posture and purpose. This projects an impression of confidence and a desire to be there.
A lot can be gleaned from a handshake in an interview environment. Make sure your hand is dry before you enter the interview room; no one appreciates a “wet fish” handshake.
Be wary of subconsciously turning the handshake over so your hand is the one on top. This can be seen as a power play and might give the impression you are overconfident or “pushy”.
Similarly, avoid placing your free hand on the interviewer’s arm or using it to reinforce your shaking hand, both of which can be viewed as overbearing and dominant.
Constantly touching your face or fiddling with your hair can be seen as a sign of insincerity or deceit.
It is also not a good idea to get “touchy feely” with your interviewer. Many people hate this, and potential clients might be put off by such over familiarity, amid concerns about hygiene, bearing in mind you have just been handling their pet.
If you take your CV with you to an interview, try to avoid holding it in front of your chest like a protective shield as this can make you appear as though you feel vulnerable, weak and nervous, qualities that are not appreciated by clients in their vet.
Your body language and other non-verbal communication can give a very positive first impression to an interviewer, if you get it right.
Remember, your potential employer is considering how you will come across to their clients, as well as how well-qualified you are, so take note of the above observations when looking for a new veterinary job.