You’re finally going to get to meet someone face-to-face so you can prove to them how wonderful you are and that you’re the best qualified professional for the job. You even prepared the night before by practicing answers to your interview questions. But did you stop to practice your body language?
Perhaps you should have. Poor body language can get you screened out even if you are the best qualified for the job.
Here are some examples of body language faux paus I’ve seen from candidates during an interview. Sad to say, all the candidates were passed over for the job.
1. Talking on a cell phone
2. Blowing bubbles with their gum
3. Dominating the conversation
4. No eye contact
5. Wimpy handshake
What you want to do instead in an interview is have your body language reflect your level of interest in the job. Following are some positive body language traits to help get the point across that you want the job.
Have you ever leaned forward while talking to a group of friends? Probably so because you were either engaged in the conversation or really liked the people you were with. Leaning forward lets your conversation partners know that you are focused on them and what they have to say at that very moment in time. So the next time you’re in an interview lean forward at the table to engage with the other interviewers.
Research shows that putting a smile on your face relaxes your entire body. If you have any interview jitters, slap a smile on your face and forget them. Not only that but wait and see how many smiles you get in return. You’ll most likely feel the tension in the room ease once everyone is smiling.
Make eye contact
Research has shown that the eyes can give away a lot about how a person is feeling. For instance did you know that when you engage someone in a conversation they like, their pupils will grow larger? Or if a person looks up and to the left they’re trying to recall a memory, but if they look up and to the right they’re being creative about their recall. Eye contact also shows that you’re attentive to the conversation. Think about a time you caught a glimpse of something that didn’t interest you; you probably didn’t spend a lot of time if any, looking at it. Do you want your interviewers to think you’re not interested in them because you’re not making eye contact?
Answer questions thoroughly; however, don’t ramble.
Be conscious of time when you respond to any question. If you need to, think first before responding to formulate your answer. When you do respond, only bring up the specific points needed to answer the question sufficiently. Don’t dominate the conversation by rambling.
A firm handshake can mean that you have a high level of confidence regarding yourself and your skills. But it doesn’t mean use the vice grip hand shake, either. Practice with a friend.
The next time you have that on-site interview remember your body language is equal to the answers you’re giving. Make a list of positive body language traits and pull them out to review when you arrive at the interview.
Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.