Sun, 31 Mar, 2019
During an interview, you’re on your best game. Every word is calculated. You’ve rehearsed your answers in front of the mirror endlessly. You feel like a Nobel prize winner giving the speech of their lifetime.
But what about your body language? If pictures speak louder than words, body language is equivalent to yelling. Every gesture, expression, and unconscious attitude conveys a message, whether you want it or not.
That’s who we are as humans— but you can use it to your advantage. In an interview setting, your overall message should be ‘I am a competent, experienced, and hardworking professional’.
Here are 6 body language tips to get the point across.
A winning smile
Would you rather talk to someone who seems to like you or to someone who stays aloof? Most of us would go with the friendly conversation partner. The first step to get your interviewer to like you and stay open to you is a warm smile.
And it doesn’t even have to be an Insta-worthy grin. Just lift the corners of your mouth a little and involve the eyes. If, through the nerves, you can smile for real, all the better!
Mind your hands
We know you’re nervous— but do you really want to look like you are? If the answer is no, you might want to keep an eye on your hand movements. Excessive fluttering, biting your nails, wringing, and head touching are all no-nos in an interview. These movements show you’re not confident and that will make your interviewer perceive you as less competent.
Straight as a ruler
Another great body language tip to project a confident image is to sit up straight. Didn’t adults use to tell you not to slouch? Well, it turns out that advice is great for interviews! It shows that you’re proud of your work and that you’re not negatively affected by high-pressure situations.
If someone’s talking to you but facing away, you’re probably going to interpret that they’re not so into the conversation. It’s the same with your interviewer.
Leaning slightly forwards (without invading personal space) sends a clear signal: you’re excited and interested in what both of you are saying. Try shifting forwards 5-10 cm while holding eye contact for maximum effect.
And not just metaphorically: both your feet should be flat on the floor. The reason: if you’re moving your legs feet around under the table, it doesn’t matter that your interviewer can’t see them. It’ll cause the rest of your body to move and you’ll look like you’re fidgeting.
And we’ve already established that fidgeting equals bad. So, if you keep your feet firmly grounded on the floor, you’ll appear and feel more confident.
You never know who’s watching
Everyone’s heard the story of the man who was rejected after applying to his dream job because the prospective boss saw him mistreat the receptionist. So, while we’re not advocating for paranoid behaviour, it is a good idea to act as if your decision-maker is watching.
Of course, treat everyone with courtesy, but also pay attention to body language. Practise these 6 interview body language tips from the moment you enter the building— or before! If you get in the zone beforehand, it’ll be easier to apply what you’ve learnt seamlessly. Study up and good luck!
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