People often prepare what they are going to say at a job interview down to the smallest detail, but sometimes they forget that it is not all about what you say, but what you do as well. Your body language is a big part of your interview and the way you use it can influence what kind of first impression you make. Since sometimes we are unaware of what we should do in a job interview, having some useful tips wouldn’t hurt – so, here they are:
When shaking hands with your interviewer, make sure you don’t overdo it in either shyness or dominance. If your handshake is too weak – it shows that you are likely a pushover. However, if it is too strong, it may indicate that you are trying to claim dominance over your interviewer. That is why it is very important to shake their hand equally strong as they do.
As a handshake is usually the first action you make when you come to an interview, it is also a big part of the first impression, meaning it will influence how the interview will continue.
Making eye contact shows your interviewer that you are paying attention to what they are saying and that you are interested in the conversation. In case there is more than one interviewer, then make eye contact with all of them, but don’t get hectic. Always give the most of your attention to the person you are talking to, i.e. the person who asked you a question; then make eye contact with one of the other interviewers before bringing it back to the first interviewer.
It is very important to keep eye contact when being interviewed for a job position, but even that needs to be done within some limits. It is very impolite if you stare, and it would seem as if you were bored or uninterested if you looked away all the time. So, the best thing is to find some moderation, as in everything.
Crossing your arms can make you look closed and unapproachable. Being hunched is a big no—no. If you want to make a good impression, your posture needs to be perfect during the entire interview. That means sitting upright and not slouching under any circumstances. You don’t want to seem too relaxed and uninterested, so don’t spread out all over the place. You should avoid being faced towards the door because that can make you look as if you want to make a run for it. Sitting up straight and subtly leaning towards the interviewer is the best posture, as it makes you look interested and engaged.
Using your hands during an interview is a good thing – if you do it subtly. You don’t want to seem too dominant, so don’t touch your fingertips too much, but doing it in moderation shows that you are confident and comfortable. When it comes to touching your face, avoid it as much as you can, especially your nose – people who touch and scratch their nose often appear untrustworthy. Your shoulders should be relaxed and faced towards the interviewers, showing that your attention is directed towards them. Try to be as open as possible and smile often, but not in an unnatural way. Smiling shows that you are interested and engaged, but obvious unnatural smiles can make an impression of insincerity – and that is something that can cost you the job position.
When you are nervous, you tend to breathe quickly and more shallow. This prevents the right amount of oxygen from getting to your brain and you are not able to think straight. That can lead to messing up the interview. So, follow this simple advice and breathe deeply. Besides helping your brain function better, it will also help you calm your nerves and handle the interview relaxed and without stress.
Respecting the interviewer’s space
Obviously, you won’t approach your closest friend and a potential employer in the same way. There are four zones of space, and those are public, social, personal and intimate. It is very important to understand where the limit is and how far you can go with your interviewer. Of course, you can’t enter their intimate space during the interview, but you can act friendly and get into their personal space. This friendliness can positively influence interviewers and make them decide to hire you due to your positive attitude and good social skills.