Appropriately expressing yourself through body language gives you a great advantage in a job interview. While everybody communicates with body language, most of us do it on a subconscious level. Whether you like it or not, this subconscious body language will pressure the way an interviewer thinks or feels about you. If you send the right signals, you will be liked and trusted.
Send the wrong signals however, and you jeopardize your chances of landing the job. The key to positive body language in an interview is self-awareness. Become aware of the signals you are sending and learn how to use your body to your advantage.
Confidence is the key to excel in all situations, especially so at job interviews. Confidence is visible in every moment, the way you enter, the way you look, the way you speak, the way you walk and even the way you sit. Let confidence shine all around you and through you. Your battle is half won.
A job interview can make anyone nervous. A smile can lower the stress and make you relaxed. Maintain a smile wherever and whenever necessary and refrain from overdoing it. You can even laugh when the interviewer does or says something funny. A smile can make you appear as a friendly, accessible and kind person.
Make sure you know what the dress code is for the office. One good idea is to check with HR before the interview to get a feel of what you should wear.
Turning up five to 10 minutes early is the sweet spot for interviews. Showing up too early can make things awkward, and showing up too late is a red flag. But just because you only have to get there shortly before the interview starts doesn't mean that you can leave your house later. Plan to be near the interview spot a lot earlier than when it starts to account for unexpected delays like traffic, and hang around in a nearby coffee shop until it's close to the interview time.
The moment you enter should be able to make the interviewer think that this can be the right person for the job. You should appear confident and calm. This isn’t the time to search for copies of your certificates or adjust your bag or hair.
Since you need your right hand for the handshake, remember to carry your file and bag on the left hand. You should offer your hand in such a way that the hand of the interviewer covers your hand. This also shows the respect that you have for him. Your handshake should be firm because that means you are a confident person. Smile as you shake hands and maintain eye contact during the same.
Although you're sure the company has your résumé, it never fails to bring copies of you’re just in case your interviewer needs to look at it and doesn't have it in front of her.
Just so your résumé doesn't look like something cat dragged in, keep it in pristine condition in a professional-looking folder. Here are other important items to bring to an interview.
You should make eye contact for a few seconds only, because more you do, it will amount to staring. Maintaining eye contact means you are paying good attention to what is being talked about and it also shows a good level of engagement at the interview. When there are multiple interviewers, you should maintain eye contact with all of them, by turns, of course. Not making any eye contact will make you appear diffident and intimidated.
It is best to keep the hands in your lap or position your arms either on your either sides or on the table. Do gesture with your hands but subtly of course, because too much hand gesturing makes you look aggressive, which is the last thing you want to be in a job interview. Let your subtle hand gestures point to the passion you have about the subjects being talked about.
You should match the positive body language of the interviewer. Mirroring the body language of the interviewer for it will help establish an engagement with him or her. Match the handshake, the nods, and the smile. You should also be careful in knowing how much mirroring is enough, as too much of it can make the interviewer uncomfortable.
Always sit up straight during a job interview, for it means confidence. At the same time, move a little, lean a little so that they know that you are responding and listening to what is going around. Avoid a stiff posture. The posture should be in such a way that you look and feel relaxed. It shows that you are a friendly and calm person to work with.
Keep a comfortable distance from the interviewer. The limit can be 20 inches. Too much closeness can make the interviewer uncomfortable and lower your chances.
Do keep a voice tone that is audible yet not too loud or too soft. Speak slowly but in such a way that you keep the natural tone intact.
Remind yourself that you have to show you are interested and hide any disinterest. It is by your positive reactions that you tell them that you are enjoying the conversation and you are very interested in the interview.
Too much of concentration on body language can also make you look stressed, hence be aware of your expressions and your gestures but at the same time, look relaxed.
When there is more than one interviewer, it is important to look at each of them while you are speaking, not matter who asked you the question. Just because one interviewer was rude to you does not mean you ignore the fellow completely.
While you have to constantly remind yourself about your body language, it is also important to listen carefully and your face expression should say this clearly that you are listening intently.
While leaving, do not act in a jiffy. Collect your things calmly, smile and say a polite good bye. Shaking hands too is good at the time of departure and thank them for their time.
Always say thankyou for the HR after the interview. This is something that's appreciated by a lot of recruiters. It's also your chance to make a final impression or clarify anything you didn't get around to in your interview.
The interviewer just threw you a big curveball by asking you to do some calculations when you have a phobia of math. Don't. Freak. Out The worst thing you can do is to clam up when you don't know an answer, because you won't be able to think clearly and may throw out a bad answer in panic. Here's what to do you if you don't know how to answer a question.
Drooping shoulders or a slouch will mean that you are not very confident or are too laid-back. Check your posture from time to time without making it very obvious.
You may love your hair all right but fidgeting with it or rubbing your nose, head or neck will make you look dishonest, impatient or nervous.
Too much body movements mean that you are uncomfortable and nervous. Do not tap with your fingers or move your legs every now and then. These body movements can make you look impatient and indecisive.
While it is important to maintain a body language that comes across as positive, it is important not to overdo it and lose yourself. Hence it is important to keep it natural and appear relaxed. YOU are what it matters, so maintain that.
A folded arm means two things that either you are aggressive and arrogant or you are appearing to be defensive. You should also not cross your legs.
It is important to maintain eye contact but too much of it means that you are staring at the interviewer. So, you should know when to look away.
Do not look around the room or at the artefacts on the wall. It means you are not at all interested in what is going on around and this can act as a disconnection between you and the interviewer. Also do not look up or down while talking because that can give an impression that you are being dishonest and are lying.
Do not keep nodding all the time, though a few nods are indeed necessary to show that you are in agreement and you are listening. Too much nodding gives an impression that you are hardly listening or that you are trying too hard to please.
Do not keep anything or your lap, be it your bag or your files. You can hang the bag on the chair you are sitting and you can keep the files on the table before you. There are chances that you might start fidgeting with the items in your lap and that is something to avoid completely.
Even small signs should be paid attention to. A slight biting of lips, or wetting your lips with your tongue or even shoulder shrugging should be kept in check. Analyse your usual body language and practise changes before you attend the interview.
Maybe you had a boss à la Devil Wears Prada, but your hiring manager doesn't need to know that. Badmouthing your former employer just gives off negative vibes and detracts from your professionalism.
OK, so they are very important factors for you, but hold off until you get the job offer. Your interviewer wants to see what you can do for the company, not what's in it for you.
Though you should rehearse before your interview, at the job interview, you should not sound as if you have rehearsed too much and that you are just giving rehearsed and practised answers.
Even if the interviewer asks a personal question or appears to be rude, do not lose cool and be calm. May be he is just trying to test you if you can hold your own against adverse circumstances.
Your face should not appear too stiff devoid of emotions. You should smile, and give positive responses. Your eyes, the way you look at the interviewer and your face expressions should all look positive.
This is an important part of the body language. One of the first things that the interviewers notice or smell about you is your body odour. If you have applied a very strong perfume or a strong deodorant, then it appears that you are too much about yourself and that you do not care about others.
Confidence is important but exhibiting too much of it is something you should avoid. Over-confidence and arrogance are the same. Nobody wants to hire an arrogant candidate but everybody loves a confident person. Understand the difference and act accordingly.
Never, ever lie. Being found out will ruin your chances of getting the job. Plus if you make up something, you may not be able to talk at length about it without slipping up. Generally speaking, honesty is the best policy! Here are some of thecommon lies you need to avoid.
You need the job to pay off your student loans, blah blah. The hiring manager does not want to hear about your 99 problems, and although you're being honest, it can come off as a pity party. You will be hired based on your qualifications, potential for success, and your fit with the culture. Everything else will be secondary to those factors.
The interview will continue until you walk out the office door, so be careful of your behavior and your words even when your hiring manager is done firing questions at you. Be polite and on top of your game when you are making casual conversation on your way out, and be nice to the receptionist.