Job interviews can be daunting, and as a result, body language can go out the window. There’s a fine balance to strike between confident and arrogant, intelligent and pedantic, and enthusiastic and desperate.
Using body language to your advantage could give you the edge you are looking for in an interview and tip the odds in your favor. The following article will explore body language tips for an interview and how they will improve your chances of securing the job.
Sit Back in Your Seat
When you take a seat, your posture is very important. By sitting all the way back in your seat with your back straight you will be displaying confidence. Sitting upright will also show you are focused and attentive to the interviewer.
Blink While Making Eye Contact
Looking interested and engaged is crucial in a job interview but too much eye contact without blinking can seem strange. Rather, focus on face contact, looking at different parts of someone’s face each time you look up works if eye contact is a concern.
Too much strong eye contact can seem unnatural and off-putting and isn’t what you are going for with your body language.
Use Lots of Hand Gestures While Speaking
Gesturing while speaking makes you appear more confident. People tend to hide their hands when they are nervous or uncomfortable. Keeping your hands out of sight can give off the wrong signals and may even make you seem distrustful.
First of all, be sure to shake hands with the hiring manager or interviewer with positive body language. Interview etiquette suggests that body language at interview meetings should be open and relaxed, so keep that in mind to the person in the interview.
Make sure your hands are in view as much as possible and do not be afraid to use them to help explain things.
Show Your Palms
Visible palms signal honesty and engagement. The interviewer will subconsciously feel more comfortable and at ease when they see your palms. It may not make a lot of sense but people are hard-wired to feel less wary when palms are visible.
Work on maintaining open and inviting body language to create a sense of trust between yourself and the interviewer or person in the chair opposite you.
Have Your Feet Planted Firmly on the Ground
Keeping your feet on the ground will allow you to answer highly complex questions with greater ease. This might not be the most obvious suggestion but there is scientific research to back this up. Planted feet can help you when going between creative thought and complex rational thought a lot easier than a different sitting position in your chair.
Alongside this, sitting with your feet on the ground while in your chair makes you look more professional than crossing your legs at the knees.
Take Deep Breaths and Speak on the Exhale
Taking deep breaths and breathing properly will help keep you calm during a potentially nerve-wracking interview. Inhaling when the interviewer asks a question and answering on the exhale can help you give a more composed response.
By breathing deeply, your parasympathetic nervous system will be engaged, allowing you to calm yourself down. It is recommended that you take as many as ten deep breaths from the diaphragm before commencing the interview. This will slow down your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure, and lower the levels of stress hormones.
Pay Attention to Your Walk
According to various research studies, interviewers often make a judgment within the first ten seconds of an interview. Therefore, how you walk into a room can be more important than you first thought.
A confident walk with your shoulders pulled back and neck out will make a good first impression. Your strides should be about one to two feet apart and you should walk directly towards the interviewer. Make a bit of eye contact and try to act as natural as possible.
The overload of things to think about might leave you a bit panicky but in general, these are normal actions we should all be doing. Practice a bit beforehand and you will soon be in the routine of walking into a room correctly without any unwanted bad habits.
When people are engaged in a conversation they tend to lean in and make eye contact. Leaning slightly forwards shows interest and intrigue in what is being said.
Be careful not to overdo this one though. Leaning too far forward results in closed-off body language and a poor posture.
Nod Your Head When Being Spoken to
As well as making eye contact, with the people in the room during the interview, nodding your head will show that you are being attentive and engaged.
A simple nod will show the interviewer that you are focused and understanding even when not speaking yourself. This is a crucial part of interview body language and is easy to implement.
Move Around if it is a Phone Interview
Remote interviews are becoming more commonplace, so you may find yourself having a phone interview. If your next job interview does happen to be over the phone, a useful body language tip is to walk around.
Walking around helps to engage your brain in a similar way to planting your feet. You will be able to think on your feet (pun intended) and answer complex questions with greater ease by walking during the interview.
Body language in interviews is an extremely important and often undervalued skill. Hiring managers at your job interview will make judgements based off of your body language, not just the things you say.
People get a lot of information from body language and this is no different in a job interview. Pay close attention to what your body is communicating and how people may interpret this.
Your interview body language should help you in securing your next job. Follow and practice the body language tips above, and you will no doubt stand a better chance of making a great first impression.