So you have thought about the questions you’re potentially going to be asked and noted down some answers, you’ve written down some questions you would like to ask, you’ve researched the company and role you are interviewing for and you know what you’re going to wear… now it’s time to wow the interviewer.
Wait… have you considered the more subtle things about the interview? Like your body language. Now for some this comes naturally and for others, especially if you are nervous about your interview, this is something that you just need to spend a little bit of time thinking about to make sure you get it right.
Your body language is a form of communication, so it’s important to be mindful to ensure your body language is positive and helps to strengthen your presence. In this article we take a look 5 of the most important elements of body language within an interview setting and offer some advice on what to do.
Make a good first impression
In terms of making a good impression, your interview starts as soon as you have walked into the building. From speaking to the receptionist or Assistant who will let the interviewer know you have arrived to introducing yourself to the person/people who are interviewing you.
When you do meet the interviewer/s stand up, introduce yourself with a smile and give a good handshake… if people are still uncomfortable about shaking hands then obviously don't force it. But just judge the situation.
Apparently, according to new research, you only have 27 seconds to make a good first impression… this isn’t to put pressure on you, this is just to highlight the importance of being welcoming and friendly.
Eye contact is so important in any conversation, as it helps with connection to show you are listening and keep a strong engagement. By not keeping steady eye contact during your interview, you can give off vibes that you’re not overly interested in what the interviewer has to say. It can also give off a sense of a lack of confidence… remember they have asked you to come in to meet with them, they like you, they just want to get to know you better.
Here’s an interesting fact about the power of body language… ever heard of the The 55/38/7 Formula? Albert Mehrabian, a researcher of body language, broke down the components of a face-to-face conversation. He found that communication is 55% nonverbal, 38% vocal, and 7% words only.
What are your hands doing?
If you like to use your hands to explain things, then maybe try and avoid this during the interview. Seeing someone across the table frantically waving their hands around whilst talking is slightly distracting and will take the attention off of what you’re saying.
Hand movements like touching your fingertips, clasping palms, and moving your fingers as you speak – are signs of honesty and openness. You could also try resting your hands in your lap. Clenching fists and waving hands while speaking can often show you're nervous and unpredictable.
Once you are sat down, it’s important to maintaining good posture throughout the interview. Make sure that you sit up straight, no slouching or hunching. Not only does sitting up straight convey confidence, studies have shown that it will make you feel more like a leader.
Good last impression
Lastly, when the interview is over make sure you leave a lasting impression… smile, thank the interviewer for their time and a good handshake. If you find yourself in a position where interviewer is walking with you to help show you the way out, just get a bit of small talk going… don’t make it uncomfortable by falling silent… remember you are still building rapport and showing your personality.
Want more interview advice?
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