Body language at a Job Interview
Using it for effective Communication
Body language is an important aspect of communication , especially in a job interview, that people often tend to overlook. Body language, in fact, contributes to create a first impression on the interviewer, as we convey an idea of ourselves, not only through verbal communication, but also and primarily through non-verbal communication. This is one of the most important challenges in a face-to-face interview.
A handshake gives the very first impression. A firm, proper handshake shows that you are confident, and ready for the job interview. Do not hold on too tight or for too long. Too firm may be perceived as too dominant, while too weak makes you look under confident. Apply the 1-2 second rule, smile and repeat the interviewer’s name.
The following step is maintaining eye contact with each interviewer. You should maintain eye contact throughout the whole interview.
When you are talking about something that isnimportant to you do not look away mid-sentence, hold your eye contact and say the end of the sentence.
Do not look up to the ceiling, do not shift eyes back and forth or up and down as it shows nervousness. Naturally, you can blink, otherwise you will look unnatural, and you can break away and take a pause once in a while, just go ahead and look down.
Your posture is important. Sit upright, with your feet firmly on the floor; this shows confidence and interest in the position. Drop your shoulders back, this will give you a nice presence. You may want to tilt forward from the waist a bit. This is a very interactive posture, signalling that you are engaged and
interested in what you have to say. Do not slouch on the chair, it shows you are bored and lazy. Do not fold your arms or cross your legs; this looks like you are wrapping yourself up and it gives the impression that you are intimidated or defensive; keep your body open instead. If you are jiggling about a lot in the chair,
often changing your posture or playing with objects, you are going to appear nervous and anxious and the interviewer will be less inclined to have confidence in you.
Slow your breathing down to relax your nerves.Breathing through your nose is effective.
Your voice quality is one of the most important elements in communication.It is a major aspect in which you present yourself. A common mistake, which is result of nerves, especially if you are interviewing for your first job, is speaking too quickly. An easy trick is lowering your tone and pace, adding emphasis and meaning
to your words. Clarity is also essential. Enunciate and prnounce clearly, taking time to consider questions, convey the sincerity they can expect you to bring to the job. Speak slowly, deliberately with resonance and confidence.
Keep your hand gestures steady and only use this to emphasise your point: Various hand movements include -palm upwards means that what you are saying is trustworthy and honest; touching your heart
signifies you are genuine; steepling is a sign of confidence; while clasping your hands is a sign of self-comfort and anxiety. Avoid touching or rubbing you face, especially your nose, your mouth, your ears.These are all signs that suggest the interviewer that you have been dishonest in answering the questions.
Mirror the interviewer’s body language with your own. This is called “joining technique,” if their arms, hands or legs are crossed or folded, do the same.
If they move their hands when they speak, they are considered open. Just make sure you do this very subtly, wait ten seconds before you mimic a gesture or a posture. You can also mirror their speech, their vocabulary, their jargon and the volume of their speech. As people trust those who are similar to themselves, this makes the interviewer feel at ease and you are more likely to build a connection with them. You can also build a connection with them by smiling from time to time, and if the interview turns into a relaxed conversation, you can take control to show your confidence.
Ultimately, be professional, do not make It informal unless the interviewer does. Confident body language says you are the right candidate for the job. Walk out with purpose and strength, no matter how you feel you have done, and leave with your head held high.