Sounds familiar?^^ Many romantic movies and TV sitcoms have that kind of line. So, why is the person forced to look into the other’s eyes and say he/she doesn’t love him/her anymore? Why not just say it? What is the need for the eye contact thing? It’s because words don’t say it all.
Interviewing applicants is a part of my job. When I talk to them, I don’t just listen to what they have to say, I observe the manner in which they say it. I look into their eyes, I observe their gestures and mannerisms, their sitting position, everything, because those paralinguistic cues reveal more information about them than what they are saying.
To become an effective speaker, we must be able to use these paralinguistic cues for us, not against us. Whether we are going to have a job interview or deliver a speech or just plainly talk to someone we hardly know, knowledge of paralinguistic cues is an effective way of making them see what we just want them to see.
In job interviews for example, it’s just natural for applicants to be nervous. Some people unconsciously reveal their nervousness either by having too many hand gestures or being to stiff. Knowing this, we can avoid making those unnecessary movements or being dead stiff.
Also, when people talk about their knowledge and abilities, they tend to look down or look in different directions, either to avoid the interviewer’s gaze, out of shyness or to think of answers. Whatever the case may be, it shows lack of confidence and sincerity, so the interviewees ought to meet the interviewer’s gaze. (however, this depends on the culture of both). In some cultures, looking into the interviewer’s eyes is considered impolite.
One’s sitting position should also be taken into consideration. Slouching would of course reveal an overconfident personality. One should sit upright near the edge of the seat to show attentiveness in interviews.