Case Studies / Activities


The Communication and ICT chapter discussed different types of communication. This activity is designed to provide an opportunity for you to think about symbolic and non-verbal communication in a little more detail. Task Think back to a recent interview you have been part of. For example, a job interview, selection day at your university, or a time when you have visited official offices seeking a service or something similar.

Then consider the following:

  1. Did you think carefully beforehand about how you dressed for the interview?
  2. If you did, what were you thinking about when making your decision?
  3. At the start of the interview what do you think you symbolically conveyed?
  4. Think also about the interview setting – was it welcoming? What made it feel that way?
  5. Now consider the person(s) undertaking the interview. What were your first impressions of them? What made you think that way about them?
  6. Think about how you presented yourself at the interview. If you were calm, how did you convey this non-verbally. If you were anxious and strived to convey a more relaxed message what changes did you have to make?
  7. Now think about the non-verbal message you received from the others involved. Were they anxious? How did you pick up on this? Did they convey positivism or otherwise? Again what made you think/feel this about them?
  8. Think about aspects of non-verbal communication including facial expression, eye contact, posture, touch and proximity. Did anything that took place during the interview make you feel comfortable or uncomfortable? Were there any significant gender or cultural aspects to think about?