So, you’ve managed to secure an interview thanks to your impeccable CV & cover letter. Now it’s time to impress in person.
With experts saying that between 75-90% of communication is non-verbal, you are under pressure not only to say the right thing, but also to think about what your body is saying during the interview.
Having good body language in an interview can be the difference between you getting hired, or a more confident counterpart landing the job instead. Your body language can have a big impact on how you are perceived, not just by those interviewing you, but by all employees you encounter before, during and after your interview. Yep, unfortunately you are being judged before you have even uttered your first word, so it is vital you make a great first impression.
Here are some of the top do’s and don’ts of body language in an interview:
- Do: Start with a strong handshake
No sweaty palms or a loose grip. A firm handshake and a good smile will get you off to a great start and will convey confident body language to the employer.
When humans are nervous or anxious, we fidget. And we can all agree that interviews are pretty nerve-wrecking, so the likelihood of us fidgeting endlessly in an interview is pretty high. Keep that in mind if you have a habit of tapping your foot, twirling your hair or shifting in your seat repeatedly. These can actually be distracting to the interviewer and they can make you seem jittery, distracting from all the great things you are saying. Try to keep composed, sit up straight and appear as relaxed as possible.
This is an important one. Not making eye contact can make you seem unengaged and insecure. It can be hard to maintain eye contact when you are nervous but try to make a conscious effort to look at the person who is asking you the question. If you are being interviewed by more than one person, you should try and make eye contact with all of the interviewers when they are talking to you.
Doing this can make you seem defensive, nervous and can also display a need for self-protection. In an interview, this is the opposite of what you want to convey. It is important that you sit in a comfortable position and appear confident, relaxed and open. Leaning in slightly as you answer the question is another technique that can be used to give a sense of engagement.
- Do: Keep it together until you are clear of the building
Don’t mess it all up at the last minute by walking out of the interview and opening the top button or changing out of your interview shoes. You never know who you might encounter, so it is vital you keep it professional. Only when you are well clear of the building is it okay to do this.
Positive body language is just one of the components of a successful interview. Appearing confident is one thing, but it is also important that your verbal communication is up to scratch too. Both of these things can be helped by one simple thing – preparation. If you do enough preparation for your interview and know what you want to say, this will benefit both your verbal and non-verbal communication, putting you firmly in the running for that dream job.
Want to read more? Read our blogs on what NOT to ask in an interview, or check out our five top tips for a successful interview.