Job interviews require you to present a well-balanced personality in front of the employer. You have to come across as confident, but not repulsive; intelligent but not over-smart. To balance your persona, and, at the same time, prove that you are the perfect candidate for the job, is not easy. Apart from skills and temperament, you must also have the right body language to succeed.
Body language plays a crucial role in communication. The interviewer interprets what you say through the prism of your body language, including the tone of your voice, hand gestures, body posture and eye movements. Candidates going for an interview must be prepared not just to speak confidently, but also display the right body language.
Here are 10 body language tips that will come handy in your next interview.
1. Walk Confidently
The manner in which you walk into the interview room will convey many things to the interviewer even before you speak. Walk at a decent pace—not too fast or slow—to demonstrate a dash of confidence. Ensure that your gait does not seem too casual as it could send a wrong message to the interview panel.
Be mindful and alert while entering the interview room. Don’t think about other things as that may reflect in your body language and spoil your impression in front of the interviewer.
2. Hand Gestures
Hands are a great tool to lay stress on key points—emphasise your zeal for the role or demonstrate confidence in your candidature. Do not cross your arms as it indicates anger or a lack of openness. Open palms, on the other hand, are interpreted as a sign of honesty and candour. Place your hands on the table or on your lap during the interview.
3. Feet to the Ground
If you think no one will be noticing your feet, you are mistaken. Having both feet firmly planted to the ground will demonstrate more confidence than sitting cross-legged. It will also help you easily change your sitting posture. A feet-on-ground posture can also help you conceal any signs of anxiety that you may be having.
4. Sitting at a Slight Angle
Your sitting posture should demonstrate assertiveness and eagerness. Sitting at a slight angle will help show these traits and you will be able to hide any feeling of intimidation or discomfort. This position is better than sitting straight-on and directly facing the interview panel. Research has shown when we sit directly opposite someone, they may unconsciously have negative thoughts about us. A slight angle alters this brain-bias.
5. Look Into Their Face
Use your eyes to communicate effectively. It portrays your level of sincerity. At the same time, avoid constant drilling into the eyes as it makes people uncomfortable. One good way is to view different parts of their face. For example, after every 2-3 seconds, look at their cheeks, ears, or nose.
Factoring in cultural differences is also important. What may be seen positively by an interviewer in the United States may not be appreciated by some in the Middle East. For example, it is best to avoid prolonged eye contact with a person of the opposite sex as this is deemed improper in the Middle East.
6. Respond Calmly
Speak clearly with a sense of confidence. Breathe lightly between your sentences. You may have the urge to speed through your answers, but hold the impulse. Listen to the question patiently, and respond in a moderate speed and tone. Even if the interviewer is rude, be level-headed and polite as it might be an interviewing tactic.
7. Nod to Express Agreement
When you agree with what your interviewer has said, signal it with a nod. However, be careful not to overdo it as it will lose the effect. Too much nodding will put you across as fake and unconfident. If you don’t understand anything, don’t hesitate to ask.
8. Lean Into A Conversation
When people are engaged in a topic, it is natural for them to lean in. Such a posture with your shoulders back and down expresses your interest. Such a mannerism will indicate to the interviewer that you are interested in what is being said. Leaning in presents you as an open and engaging person, which are good traits to have in an interview.
9. Pay Attention to Your Interviewers’ Body Language
Keeping your body language in sync with that of your interviewers helps in building an understanding and helps you get on good terms with them. Mirroring is something that good conversationalists use—often instinctively. You can also pick up important cues from the body language of your interviewers to gauge how the interview is going and make course corrections if necessary.
10. Work on Your Micro-Expressions
Micro-expressions, which appear for a fraction of a second, show a crystal-clear picture of what is going on in your mind and a seasoned interviewer will be able to pick up the cues. For instance, an increase in eye blinking rate may betray stress or nervousness.
Giving the Right Message
Body language can give the interviewer a lot of information about you that they cannot get through spoken words. It is important for your body language to back up what you are saying. Interviewers are looking for people who know the job, have the right mindset, are smart and confident, yet humble. The right body language can help you portray all those qualities effectively and improve your chances of getting the job.
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