We all know how important it is to use the right words during your interview. If you can’t communicate your answers effectively, you could find yourself back in the job search. But what about non-verbal communication?
If you’re not aware of your body language, you may be telling your potential employer things that you didn’t mean to show them.
Here are five body language tips to keep in mind going into every interview.
We all smile when we’re happy, but did you know that smiling could actually make you happier? If you smile while on your way to your interview, then you’ll be in a good mood entering the interview.
During the interview, smile during all appropriate moments. This will help you feel comfortable, and show your interviewer that you can get along with people. Smiling is also just as important if you are interviewing over the phone, as this can make your voice sound more pleasant.
2. Don’t cross your arms.
Most everyone believes that crossed arms means you are in a defensive mode, or holding back information. This belief has been debunked, but most job interviewers still hold to it. So even though you may like to cross your arms, don’t! It may cause you to be perceived in a bad light.
3. Make eye contact (most of the time).
Eye contact is an important element of body language. It means you’re focused on what the other person is saying. However, too much eye contact can be seen as confrontational. One way to maintain focus, but not overwhelm the person you’re talking to is by looking at different features of their face every couple seconds. Move from eyes to nose to mouth every two to four seconds. This is a way to maintain “eye-contact” deferentially.
4. Keep good posture.
Good posture can help you look confident and keep you calm. Some simple tips include:
Plant your feet shoulder width apart, and always keep them on the ground. This improves your ability to think rationally on higher levels.
Sit with your back straight. This is a sign of confidence.
Lean in slightly when your interviewer is telling you something important. This increases engagement and assures that you’re listening.
Show your palms. Open palms show honesty and engagement. Don’t ball your fists as this is a sign of anger and aggression.
5. Nod while listening.
This not only shows that you are listening, but that you are enjoying this opportunity to interview. The worst thing you can do is give someone a blank stare while they’re talking. They will immediately begin to question whether you’re listening and understanding. A small nod after important points lets them know that you’re still on the same page.
By keeping these five tips in mind, you should be able to convey a positive and professional attitude to your interviewer. This perception can go a long way toward making sure you land the job!