Top 10 Interview Body Language Tips
After reading at article about the best way to use your body language in an interview, I was inspired to expand on the idea. Here are my top 10 tips when it comes to using the best possible body language when meeting with a potential employer.
1. Eye Contact. Lack of eye contact suggests lack of self confidence and timidity. This can also make the interviewer feel as though you’re not interested, or find the situation to be boring. No one wants to hire someone who is bored in the interview! Similarly, they want to employ someone with confidence enough in themselves to meet a gaze. Don’t overdo it by staring them down, but exude confidence and respect by looking them in the eye.
2. Active Listening. When your future employer is speaking, perhaps describing the job and what they’re looking for, it’s not enough to simply nod and smile. Active listening requires you to listen…and respond! This does not mean to interrupt, rather, find a point to ask further questions, or offer an anecdote relating to the conversation. This shows that you are engaged, and willing to add to the dynamic.
3. Sit Up Straight. Excessive slouching and a sloppy sitting stance do not exude confidence. No need to be militant about a 90 degree spine, but sitting in a proper manner shows that you are aware of yourself and your surroundings.
4. But, Don’t Close Off. You may be sitting up straight, but your legs are tightly crossed, as are your arms. This can communicate to an interviewer that you are nervous, closed off, or trying to hide something. Sit politely, but don’t try to turn yourself into a tiny ball. Think about how you would sit with someone you highly respected, someone whose advise you greatly want to hear. That is how you should be presenting yourself in the interview.
5. Two Hand Touch. A hand shake can often feel a little cold. A nice way to warm yourself to your potential employer, is to use your non-dominant hand in the hand shake. Sound a little odd? It’s easier than you think. If you’re shaking with your right hand, simply place your left hand on the top of their shaking hand. Your hands make a little sandwich, and theirs in the meat! Or, you can lightly place your non-shaking hand on their elbow for a brief moment during the hand shake. This may seem odd, but try it out, it is a generally endearing action (as long as it isn’t to aggressive!).
6. Use Your Voice. Practice speaking with a confident tone. Don’t raise the pitch at the end of your sentences, suggesting lack of assurance in what you’re saying. Speak as if you know exactly what you’re saying, and why you’re saying it. Also, be careful of volume. Speaking too loudly can be obnoxious, too softly will just frustrate the interviewer.
7. Mirror Check. Always pop into the bathroom, or use your car mirror, before entering the interview waiting room. If you’re in front of your interviewer, and suddenly worry that there’s something in your teeth, or your shirt has a stain, you may be far more focused on dealing with that than the situation in front of you. Just a quick look in the mirror can help you keep your confidence.
8. Relax and Smile. You might have all the right answers, but at the end of the day, people want to hire employees that they want to spend 40 hours a week with. Don’t try to be a comedian, but don’t be afraid to laugh at a joke, or offer a fun story to show off your personality. If 10 other candidates are as highly qualified, show them why having you around the office would be the best choice.
9. Don’t Fidget. Many people have nervous ticks that they don’t even realize they have in stressful situation. Maybe it’s picking your nails, scratching your beard, or wringing a tissue. Be mindful of these things and stop. Comfortably place your hands in your lap, or use them to gesticulate. No nervous picking, scratching, or wringing.
10. Smooth Exit. When the interview is over, don’t scramble to leave. Calmly gather your things, and give a respectful departing hand shake to the hiring manager, and other hiring agents in the room if it’s convenient. You don’t want to drop your papers and run out the door, leave as smoothly as you came.
Interested in trying a few of these out? Have further questions or crave a more in depth insight? Contact Resourcefully Human for interview preparation.