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Nonverbal communication, more than just nod or smile, is important. Gestures, appearance, timing, voice responses, facial expressions, spatial distance – all affect how speaker (or interview) interprets listener. So a person preparing for a job or work project interview should consider cultural climate and norms of society of interviewer. In short, perceived active listening based on nonverbal signals can vary from culture to culture.
Especially in this age of such great cultural diversity, be courteous of others regardless of cultural, sexual or societal backgrounds. If you are a woman and get to a door before a man, open it. If your interviewer doesn’t speak English very well and looks puzzled at your words, go back and explain yourself again in different words and re-establish a good communication exchange.
Note: a major part of active listening is paraphrasing. It’s not same as summarizing. A summary is a shortened version of original message, focusing on main point. To paraphrase means to re-state message in your own words.
Active listeners take notes by paraphrasing or restating what speaker said in their own words, and summarizing main points. A good listener is not same thing as a silent listener. Good listeners ask questions, even something like, “Is this an accurate paraphrase of you have said?” to let speaker know that you understand message being communicated.
Roger Clark is senior editor at Top Career Resumes who provide free information to job seekers on all aspects of finding a new job and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.