How to improve your non-verbal communication skills

Developing your non-verbal communication skills could dramatically improve your chances of succeeding at interview and finding employment in Zambia.

What is non-verbal communication?

Non-verbal communication (sometimes called body language) refers to the messages we send through our appearance, gestures, facial expressions and movements.

Why is non-verbal communication important?

Understanding non-verbal communication can help you to improve the way you communicate. It can also help you you to understand other peoples non-verbal communications.

3 tips to improve your non-verbal communication skills

1. First impressions

First impressions are crucial when looking to find employment. Often, the first impression we make is not something we say, rather it is communicated non-verbally in our appearance, gestures, facial expressions and movements.

What type of a first impression do you think that you make?

Do you dress appropriately for interviews? Do you walk confidently? Do you make eye contact with the interviewer and smile at them?

If you don’t do any of the above then changing your approach could help you to make a good first impression and secure employment.

2. Understanding positive non-verbal communication

Positive non-verbal communication is vital during an interview. One of the key points is to learn how to look interested and to display enthusiasm for the role. Much of this you will communicate non-verbally through your body language. Sometimes a person can be interested in a job but this is not reflected in the body language that they display. As a result, the interviewer wrongly assumes that they are not that interested in the job. It is therefore vital to ensure that your body language communicates what you want it to.

Examples of positive non-verbal communication

  • Wearing appropriate interview clothing
  • Maintaining levels of eye contact
  • Showing that you are actively listening by nodding, smiling etc.
  • Sitting upright – do not slouch
  • Leaning forward to show that you are enthusiastic
  • Displaying energy when talking through hand gestures

3. Understanding negative non-verbal communication

Understanding negative non-verbal communication is important as it will help you to identify and improve your own negative non-verbal communication. It will also help you to identify negative non-verbal communication in others.

Examples of negative non-verbal communication

  • Dressing inappropriately for the interview
  • Insufficient/excessive eye contact
  • Minimal facial movement/expressions
  • Sitting slumped in chair
  • Fidgeting/yawning
  • Looking at your watch/phone

Key Points

By understanding types of positive and negative non-verbal communication you can change how your appearance, gestures, facial expressions and movements are interpreted by others. You can also identify types of non-verbal communication in others. This is a key point as you will be able to adapt your approach based on non-verbal communication that others display. For example, an interviewer may display enthusiasm for a particular point that you are making. This could encourage you to talk more about this point. Similarly, you may notice that a point that you are making is not being well-received and may be able to amend what you are saying.

Further Information

To find more careers articles visit: Careers Advice

Search for Jobs

To search for the latest jobs in Zambia visit: