Have you ever heard of the expression, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it?”
Body language matters, especially in interviews. Our posture, movements and facial expressions can shape how our conversations are remembered and, sometimes, make or break your interview.
Here are 6 things you most likely didn’t know about your body language and interviewing:
1. The Not-So-Great Handshake
The handshake is the most well-known way to send a message non-verbally. Stronger handshakes signify confidence. Consequently, weak handshakes are associated with insecurity and a lack of confidence.
If you’re nervous (or shy), you may be tempted to add a little extra oomph to your handshake but be careful not to over-compensate! If a candidate walks in and their handshake is too strong, it can be perceived as a sign of aggression. To combat this, it’s always a good idea to give a genuine smile along with your handshake.
Eye contact helps you develop a strong and immediate rapport with your interviewer; the interviewer will see you as a confident and competent candidate
2. The Wandering Eye
Do your eyes dart around the room while listening and speaking? Are you guilty of looking at the ceiling or floor rather than at people? Such actions make you appear apprehensive and distracted.
Whether you are speaking or listening, it is best to make direct eye contact.
Eye contact helps you develop a strong and immediate rapport with your interviewer; the interviewer will see you as a confident and competent candidate.
Also, don’t forget to blink! (Yes, this has happened.)
3. Poor Body Posture = Poor Confidence
It’s important to be relaxed in an interview, but don’t get too comfortable!
Slouching in an interview shows a lack of confidence and respect. Good posture shows that you care and that you are paying attention. As an added tip, leaning forward a bit is a great way to non-verbally show you are interested in what your interviewer has to say.
4. Stiff as a Board or Way too Loosey-Goosey
Many people get nervous during an interview. Hey, it’s an interview!
But letting your nerves get the best of you and freezing up like a statue will come across to your interviewer as disinterest, or that your nerves have gotten the best of you and you can’t handle pressure well.
Remember your breathing and maintain a calm demeanor. Smiling can go a long way in calming your nerves.
Be mindful of your hands and gestures. Also, do not play with your face, hair or fidget with items like pens, watches, jewelry or even that second copy of your resume.
5. Not Smiling vs Smiling Too Much
You always want to make an effort to smile in a job interview. But everything in moderation.
Smiling excessively will only make you appear detached and you risk making your interviewer uncomfortable.
During your interview find appropriate places in the conversation to flash those pearly whites. But be careful; your teeth tell a story, too. Check in the mirror for any food left over from your last meal.
Being nervous before an interview is normal. The only people who don’t get nervous are those who don’t care about the job.
Try thinking positive thoughts and relax. The more you relax during your interview, the easier it will be for your non-verbal communication to speak volumes to your resume and your professionalism.