Getting your body language right in an interview is critical to effective interview performance. You may have your answers prepared down to a tee but sending out the wrong signals in an interview can greatly negate all the practice and preparation you have put in.
Below are 7 tips to get your body language right in an interview situation.
Tip 1: Keep good eye contact
Ensure that you maintain good eye contact with your interviewer. This tells the interviewer that you are fully engaged and are actively listening to what they have to say. Candidates who only engage in fleeting glances can come across as not being fully engaged, having something to hide or not fully believing what you are saying
Tip 2: Get Your Posture Right
Sit straight in the seat and move your head slightly forward. This is the ideal posture position. Avoid slouching, sitting on your hands or leaning back on the seat with your hand behind your head. Sitting back on the seat with your hands behind your head can be interpreted by the interviewer as being too relaxed or in the worst case scenario as being arrogant.
Tip 3: Watch your Hands
Be conscious of your hand movements. Clenched fists or pointing during an interview can come across as aggressive. Waving your hands from side to side when making a point will only serve as a distraction. The best position from your hands is either on your lap or in the palm open position as it portrays honesty and having nothing to hide.
Tip 4: Smile
It is important for the interviewer to know that you have personality and that you would fit into their company team. Successful people generally like positive people with personality as it mirrors themselves.
Therefore smile when appropriate and be sure to laugh or smile if the interviewer makes a joke (it helps if the joke is appropriate and funny) and this will go a long way to make you more likeable to the interviewer.
Tip 5: Avoid touching your face
Touching your face can be viewed as untrustworthy so it is best avoided in an interview situation.
Tip 6: Pre Interview Body Language
When waiting to be called into an interview room are you distracted on your phone or sitting with a long glum face of someone who really doesn’t want to be there. Alternatively are you concentrating and carefully reviewing your interview notes? Interviewers will form an instant impression as soon as they meet you, so be very cognizant of your behaviour in the waiting area.
Tip 7: The Firm Handshake
A cool hand with a firm grasp combined with good eye contact will ensure that you convey a positive first impression. Sweaty palms or a limp handshake won’t enamour you to your interviewer. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression so be sure to practice your firm handshake prior to interview.
Studies have concluded that up to 55% of our interview communication is non-verbal, or body language. Getting your body language right is an essential part of being successful in interviews.