The whole idea during an interview is to put your best self forward so the person sitting opposite you, can’t wait to employ you and your body language plays a significant role in the way you are perceived. Poor body language can derail an interview regardless of how confident and well-spoken you are, body language is as much a part of your communication style as what you say.
Impressions are made within seconds of reviewing body language.
Don’t worry though we have put together a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to how you use your body language to make that great first impression!
- Shake Hands – Shaking hands at the beginning of the interview breaks down boundaries, shows confidence and implies that you are open.
- Good Eye Contact – This is the best way to show you are paying attention and engaging with the situation, don’t stare at them like it’s a contest as this can be intimidating, but do meet eyes with the person you are conversing with.
- Don’t Slouch – Sitting hunched forward or lounging has the effect of looking a little too relaxed. You want to show that you are taking the interview seriously, looking confident and professional rather than you were wishing you were somewhere else (even though you probably may be!).
- Lean towards the interviewer – This implies that you are taking an interest in the conversation and that you are engaged by what they are saying.
- Mirror your interviewer – You can quickly get on good terms with your interviewer by matching their positive body language. If you are unsure on how you should sit or act, watching how your interviewer does can give you a good indication of how they think it is appropriate to act.
- SMILE – If all else fails and you completely forget to remember where you should have your hands or where you should look, just smile. A genuine smile creates a favourable image and shows you have personality and you are paying attention to what is being said and will ensure your interviewer remembers you in a positive light.
Lastly it goes without saying you should always listen attentively and try not to interrupt, focus on keeping your tone of voice even and polite, too soft and you’ll seem timid, too loud you’ll seem domineering.