When it comes to an interview, your body language is as important as the words you use to answer any questions. So, you must be vigilant of not only what you say, but also how you present yourself & how you say it. You have to make yourself unique & easily noticeable during any interview session. If you don’t stand out among the other candidates, why should they hire you?
Body Language is a type of non-verbal communication. In this case, instead of using words, physical expressions are used to convey any information. This includes facial expressions, gestures, body posture, eye movements & touch. Body language plays a vital role in the success of a career or job interview.
Why is Body Language Necessary?
There is an old saying that goes: “Action speaks louder than the words.” Reminiscent of that, your gestures will give a better description of you to your interviewer. So, you must understand the importance of body language. Here are a few key points to help you in that regard:
One of the main reasons why body language is of such importance is that it showcases your professional skills. Whether you get selected or not in an interview depends on your professional bearing. It’s highly likely that how you behave during an interview is how you’re likely to act during your employment. Thus, understanding & improving your body language will lead to you being able to evolve your professionalism.
2. Assertive Behaviour
Positive body language helps to develop assertiveness in a person. These types of behaviours are liked by people. Moreover, It’ll put forward your opinion more easily than the others. The person of this quality gets more favour in any discussion & gets more positive attention.
3. Non-verbal Communication
The research by Dr Albert Mehrabian, a famous psychologist, on how people communicate. It states that people communicate with 38% verbal communication & 55% non-verbal communication. So, the majority of our emotion is expressed by our body language. Improving this can help you identify your emotions as well as the right mental status.
4. Building Relationships
Nowadays, companies heavily depend on team-works. So, an interviewer always looks for people who are best suited for that & can improve their company. If you show an optimistic attitude with your body language, you’re more likely to develop a better relationship with the other employees.
5. Workplace Success
Positive body language is a must-have quality for any corporate environment. Your attitude can boost the spirit & moral of your colleagues. Also, it can convey respect for your co-workers. A gentle smile can go a long way to help create a positive outlook for yourself with your in-charge as well. This, alongside good employee relationships, might lead to your workplace success.
Body Language Tips for Interview
Body language plays an integral part in any type of job interview. Amy Cuddy, a Social Psychologist, has a very famous Ted Talk Video on body language. She talks about how our body language influences others’ perception of us. And also how it affects our judgment of ourselves as well. In short, body language helps to show your competency in an interview & build the right mindset. So, to ace your next interview, here are 12 easy tips that you can use:
1. First Impression
One of the common misconceptions about interviews is that it starts when the interviewer begins the questioning. However, that’s not the case at all. It starts the moment you enter the interview room. Most of the interviewers tend to judge your competency by the first impression you make.
So, be careful about your attire and wear something formal. Both, your dress & shoes must be clean. You should ask for permission before entering the interview room. Lastly, the way you walk towards the interviewer should showcase your confidence.
As you enter the room for your interview, you must remember to greet your interviewer. A good introduction can help the hiring manager to set you apart from the other candidates. For instance, you can tell them about your passion or, an interesting fact about yourself.
Likewise, to show confidence in your ability, you can offer a firm handshake. But, you must be careful that it’s not too strong or too weak. Because a weak handshake might imply you’re being shy or nervous, while a too strong one might make you seem too aggressive.
3. Posture & Sitting Style
As far as body languages during any hiring session go, maintaining proper posture is the most important one. People tend to get confused as to what their posture be like in a situation like this. Should you sit as you usually do, or should you sit straight as a wooden log?
First and foremost, no slumping! It makes you seem uncertain, timid & uninterested in the conversation. Secondly, don’t sit so straight that it seems like you have a rope tied to your head from the ceiling. It’ll make you look like a robot. Instead, try to keep your spine & shoulder straight, yet comfortably. This will help create a good impression on the interviewer.
4. Lean Forward
Leaning in is a natural reaction to show your engagement in a conversation. So, when you’re asked a question, try to lean a little towards that person. Doing this will show your enthusiasm & interest in the discussion.
However, leaning back will create the impression of being uninterested in the discussion. A good tip to remember is that people’s personal space extends about 20 inches. So, if you should slightly lean forward without invading their space. This way, you can show your enthusiasm to the interviewer.
5. Eye Contact
Another important tip to keep in mind is to maintain the right amount of eye contact. People often find it hard to decide where to look at during an interview. A good practice is to look at the interviewers.
However, remember not to stare or keep constant eye contact. It’ll make you seem aggressive. Try to change it up by looking at their eyes, nose or lips. If your interviewers are several people, keep eye contact with the primary interviewer. But, occasionally look at the others as well. Lastly, careful not to wander around the room with your eyes. If you keep this in mind, you’re all set for the interview.
A common misunderstanding about interviews is not realizing that it’s a conversation. A conversation is a two-way street. As in, not only do you have to answer the question, but react to them as well.
So, when the interviewer asks you something, you should nod. This will show that you’re engaged in the conversation & understanding what is being said. It expresses your interest & demonstrates agreeability in the interview.
One of the simplest, yet often overlooked body language techniques is smiling. Having a smile on your face increases your approachability & trustworthiness. Moreover, people tend to smile & let their guard down in front of someone with a friendly smile. Not to mention, smiling creates a good reaction in the neurons of your brain. This, in terms, will help you relax & be confident.
The importance of being confident in an interview cannot be stressed enough. While it might seem like having humility is a good characteristic choice, in reality, it isn’t.
You should always be confident about your skills & be practical. Talk about how your experiences or education has helped prepare you for this job. One important tip to remember is, most employers look for a team player. So, keep in mind that there is no ‘I’ in a team. Always give the right credits to the right people & show your skills in the right places.
9. Hand Gestures
Most people don’t know what to do with their hands when they’re talking with someone. This distracts them from the conversation & makes them feel awkward. So, you have to know what to do with your hands.
Showing subtle hand gestures make you look open & interested. It’s a powerful tool to make a point to the interviewer. However, remember not to be too wild with hand gestures. This will distract the interviewer from listening to what you’re saying.
10. Movement of Legs
Like the hand gestures, what to do with the feet can be confusing. You can keep your feet grounded. It’ll keep your mind from getting detracted. If you don’t feel comfortable with keeping your feet firm, try to cross the ankles. This shows the interviewer that you’re confident & comfortable.
However, don’t cross your knees as it will make your movements difficult. Also, you might have to sit for a long time. So, if your leg falls asleep, your movement will look like fidgeting.
11. Address Everyone
Usually, when it comes to interviews, there are more than one people. So, you have to be mindful & address everyone. Otherwise, they might feel disrespected or have a bad impression about you.
On that note, during this situation, try to face the person who’s asking the question. Answer it while looking at that person, but pay small glances to the others as well. Also, try leaning in a little towards the primary interviewer (as mentioned in number 4)
12. Proper Exit
At the end of the interview, don’t stand up & walk right out of the room. Smile at your interviewers, rise smoothly & go for a firm handshake once again. Greet everyone in the interview room & walk steadily towards the exit. This will showcase your calmness & professionalism.
Both the first and the last impression of the interview matters a lot to an interviewer. So, you have to be very mindful of this as well.
Body language plays a vital role in an interview. To succeed in a competitive interview, you must practice your body language as much as your answers to normal interview questions. Natural tendencies might take over when you’re nervous. So you have to learn to overcome these. You can practice with your friends or an interview coach. This will ensure you’re fully aware of your body language during an interview.
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