You can say what you want during a job interview, but if your body language tells a different story, you may seem insecure, unreliable or arrogant. It’s important to remember interviewers will only see how you behave; they won’t see how you’re feeling. By securing an interview, the prospective employer has looked at your CV and identifies that he/she thinks you can do the job. Now it’s up to you to show your confidence and use body language to your advantage. Here we look at some tips to use your body language as a powerful means of communication before and during the interview.
Before the interview
When invited into the interview room or reception walk in confidently take a seat, keep clam and focus on your breathing. Its important you don’t pace around or become flustered. If there are any brochures or other items on display feel free to browse through them as you may find some important information on the company you can refer to in the interview. Use your time waiting for the interview effectively taking a good look at the surroundings, maybe check your CV to endure you are familiar with it and avoid any other distractions like checking your mobile phone.
The initial introduction
As the interviewers enter the room, initiate with a firm handshake and keep good eye contact as this shows you are confident and ready for the interview. Try to ensure a natural smile, a firm voice and constant eye contact during the introduction with your interviewer.
It’s ok to be nervous, but a smile can go a long way. It makes you look more relaxed, comfortable and personable.
Make sure you are sat up straight and not leaning to the left or right of the chair and keep your back pressed against the back rest. Its also important not fidget in your chair so keep your legs still.
If you have multiple people (interviewers) in the room its important to maintain good eye contact with each of them. You should always maintain eye contact with the person who is speaking to show you are interested and listening. When someone asks a question, look him or her in the eye at the beginning of your answer and then shift your eyes to the other conversation partners. Try not to look away when you give an answer as this gives the impression you may not be telling the truth or feel insecure – always keep good eye contact.
Keep your head still and only nod if you agree or understand an important point and when you want to invite your interviewer to continue talking. Continuously nodding in agreement to everything the interviewer says can come across as insincere.
Don’t cross you arms
Never cross your arms during an interview. When someone crosses their arms, it usually means that they’re closed for arguments. By crossing the arms, a barrier is put in front of the body, as some sort of protection.
Use your hands to emphasise points
People pay attention to movements and gestures during conversations. The movement draws attention to what you’re saying at that moment and draws attention to the important parts of the speech. An active speaker leaves a better impression on the audience than an inactive one but don’t over do it!
Avoid wandering hands
Try not to touch yourself when you are speaking, whether it be your hair, face, arms, legs or jewellery as it takes they eye of the interviewer away from the speech and you may be perceived as insecure or unreliable. If you are not speaking then keep your hands still either on the table in front of you or by your side. Avoid making rhythmic movements, tapping etc as this can be a signal of stress and uncertainty.