As we all know, job interviews can be seriously daunting. We often get caught up in it all, between choosing the perfect outfit, preparing resumes/CV’s and dealing with nerves.
When it comes to job interviews, body language and how you carry yourself is just as important as what you say.
In fact, research states that non-verbal communication, particularly body language, has approximately 4 times more of an effect than verbal communication.
“Only 7% of our message is conveyed by the words we use” –
Non-Verbal Communication: Albert Mehrabian
Non-verbal communication or body language plays a significant role in the way we deliver specific information. We communicate with more than just words. Our body has a language of its own, including gestures, eye contact and movements which all impact the messages our speech is making.
Some of the main methods of non-verbal communication include:
- Tone of voice
- Articulation of words
- Facial expression
- Eye contact
- Rhythm, intonation and stress placed on words
- Body posturing
Further research denotes that when we an interviewee is trying to communicate feelings and attitudes, only a small percentage comes from the words we use.
“55% of our message comes from body language (especially from movements of the small muscles around the eye which can convey shock, disbelief, doubt or disgust)”
– Workplace Strategies for Mental Health
When it comes to acing your job interview, don’t let your body language bring you down, rather use it to your advantage and make a lasting impression on the interviewer.
Listed below are body language do’s and don’ts to help you have a successful interview process.
Body language tips for your interview: the do’s
- Walk in with confidence
Although you may be nervous, it is important to remain calm and confident from the moment you walk into the building as it will shine through your body language.
Interviewer’s start forming hiring decisions in the first 30 seconds of the job interview, which is why walking into the interview with confidence is a must.
The next time you are walking into a job interview, stand up straight with your head held high, and a smile on your face. Be careful not to be too overpowering though – sometimes, overconfidence can be an issue.
- Give a firm handshake
The daunting ‘handshake’ that we all dread.
A weak handshake can portray a lack of confidence, whilst a handshake that is too strong can make you seem overly confident.
In order to master the handshake, it is best to mirror the interviewers’ handshake and apply a similar amount of pressure.
Ultimately, the handshake should be firm, but friendly.
- Maintain posture
Maintaining posture throughout the job interview is a big body language MUST as it emphasises confidence.
They key is to always sit up straight, without being too stiff.
Tip: Lean in a little towards the interviewer, this shows that you are interested and listening.
- Make eye contact
It is important to find the right balance between too much eye contact, and not enough eye contact during the job interview.
Maintaining eye contact with the interviewer indicates that you are listening and paying attention to what is being said, which creates a genuine engagement.
Fun fact: 10 seconds of eye contact at a time is a good amount
- Use your hands
Hand movements are an important part of effective body language during job interviews.
Using your hands while you speak helps reinforce what you are saying. It emphasises the passion and makes the conversation more visual. This can also hide away or distract the interviewer from the shakes that are often difficult to control.
However, refrain from using your hands too much as it can become a distraction.
Body Language Tips for your Interview: The Dont’s
- Bad posture
Your posture tells a lot about you and your personality. It is important that during job interviews you maintain good posture and body language.
Avoid slouching in the chair as it indicates that you lack confidence, or a too laid-back.
Furthermore, having bad posture or slouching during the interview can make you appear bored and uninterested.
Sitting with your arms and legs closed can come across as unfriendly and disengaging.
Fidgeting during a job interview is a big no as it portrays negative body language and a lack of confidence.
It is also distracting for the interviewer and yourself making you appear uncomfortable and awkward.
- Staring blankly
Although eye contact is an important sign of body language in an interview, it is essential that you avoid overly staring as it may make the interviewer feel uncomfortable.
Staring blankly around the room also shows that you are easily distracted, and uninterested.
4 body language signs that interviewers watch out for in a job interview:
- How you sit
Interviewers observe how you sit from the start of the interview right through to the end. Confident applicants will maintain good posture while sitting, whilst less confident applicants will most likely slouch in the seat or sit with arms and legs crossed.
- How you smile
Interviewers also pay attention to the way you smile. Smiling shows whether you are interested or not, and is a good indicator of how much confidence you possess.
At the beginning of the interview, when you are greeting the interviewer it is best to put on a natural and friendly smile.
- How quick you can answer a question
Those who rush and rapidly answer questions during the job interview appear prepared. However, interviewers will most probably think you did not take the time to comprehend the question.
Don’t rush and think before you respond to questions, this will show that you understand the question.
- If you are focused or staring blankly
Interviewers expect that you remain focused for the duration of the interview, as it shows that you are interested, and are motivated to land the job.
TLNT. is an Australian based recruitment agency focusing on multiple industries and across an array of disciplines.
No matter what industry, skillset or field of work you are looking to enter, TLNT. will provide you with the necessary resources and opportunities needed to secure an interview.
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