FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Have you ever watched two people having a conversation with each other? Did you notice that the body language of one usually matched the body language of the other?

For instance, if one person crossed his or her arms during the conversation, so did the other person. And if one person put his hand on his chin, the other person did the same.

These are subconscious involuntary reactions to help us better communicate.

Do they have an important play in the job search process? Let's examine these actions and see if they can be beneficial in helping to get a job.

When you are about to be interviewed, most people have a tendency to be somewhat nervous and may appear to be a little stiff. This may be the way your body chooses to react to the stress of the moment. However, once the interview starts, you subconsciously notice the interviewer's posture and sense whether or not it's OK to relax a little.

Most people will mimic the interviewer's body language. So, good complimentary communication is transpiring on two different levels. Rarely will the interviewer notice the mimicking. Most often, in my opinion, the person in authority will be the person who others mimic. Therefore, if during the interview you notice the interviewer mimicking you, it may be a good indication that you are gaining the interviewers confidence and respect.

Some interviewers may have a poker face and you can't tell how you are doing by their facial expressions, but they may not send the same message by their other subconscious body language. If, during the job interview, you notice the interviewer mimicking you more and more, seize the moment with confidence. If you are getting into the salary negotiation portion of the interview, this may be a good time to ask for a larger salary or better benefits. On the other hand, if the interviewer is not mimicking you, it may be cause for alarm.

Some managers are so strong and charismatic that they seldom, if ever, will allow themselves, even subconsciously, to be overcome by someone else's personality. These managers tend to have large egos and are used to always being in control. If they are conducting a job interview, you may have trouble relaxing during the interview. One tip to get through their interview successfully is to stay focused and give them only the facts that they request.

Since you may never know the personality of the person who will be conducting your interview beforehand, it is always a good idea to be extremely prepared when you begin the interview.

For more information on good communication skills or help with the job search process, call 255-2558.