Body Language Tips for the Interview

 

You may have the best resume & the perfect answers but what differentiates two equally suitable candidates in an interview is the body language. Use the below body language tips to make you seem confidant & enthusiastic, avoiding any kind of faux pas

Walking in

Walk in straight, smile, make eye contact and shake your hands with each individual in the room. Introduce yourself using your first and last name as you shake hands.

Handshake

Keep the handshake firm, but remember it’s not a wrestling matching and you don’t have to crush your opponent fingers.  Don’t do a dead fish / limp handshake it makes you seem submissive.

The handshake should not be prolonged or be too short – count till 3 inside your head and let it go.

Do not cover the interviewers hand with both of yours or shake the hand or pump the other person’s hand more than three times

Sitting position & distance

Sit upright but in a relaxed fashion leaning slightly forward at about a 10 to 15 degree angle towards the interviewer to show you are interested. Do not lean back, it is lazy or arrogant and slouching is just lazy.

If you lean too forward and stretch your hands or body over interviewers desk , you will come across as aggressive and will create discomfort for the interviewers whose personal space you will be entering.

Keeping your head straight looks self-assured and authoritative, it sends the message that you should be taken seriously. For a more friendly and relaxed look tilt your head slightly to one side. Nod your head every now and then to show you are listening closely.

Whatever you do , please don’t fidget  unless you want to appear nervous.

Hands

The two major mistakes candidates make in regards with the use of hands during interview is a> make chopping or pointing motions which appears aggressive or b> keeping the hands hidden which makes one seem as less open and less honest

The best thing to do with your hands is to rest them loosely clasped in your lap or on the table, if there is one. You may also want to use the steeple to get your point across, if you feel strongly about it. Steepling projects confidence.

Do not touch the nose, lips or ears with your hands , it  can signal that the candidate is lying.

Arms

Folding arms across the chest signal defensiveness and resistance. It sends the message that the candidate is shutting the interviewer out and is either feeling or does not agree with what the interviewer is saying.

Keep your arms open and let your hands rest loosely clasped.

Eyes

It’s important to be confident and look the interviewer in the eye, but do break away. Locking eyes with someone for an extended period of time can be interpreted as aggressive or creepy.

If you are not comfortable with looking a person directly in the eye, keep your gaze centred in the triangle formed by eyes and nose. Distracted, never looking in the eye while answering or upward eye movements can suggest someone is lying or is not sure.

If you have more than one person interviewing you at once, briefly address both people with your gaze and return your attention to the person who has asked you a question.

Head

Nod once or twice with a smile of agreement. But find your still centre and stay there. A bobble head appears to be too agreeable, while lacking his / her own perspective.

Facial expressions

Match your words, tone & facial expressions.

Do not purse the lips or twist them sideways, it shows disapproval of what is being heard. Biting your lips suggests nervousness. Try to relax your mouth. Do not smile too much unless you hear a joke.

Legs

Crossing feet at the ankles or placing them both flat on the floor sends a message of confidence and professionalism.  Do not rest an ankle on the opposite knee – it looks arrogant and casual, while crossing the legs high up appears defensive.

Mirroring

Use mirroring to create a connection through body language. Influence it to give the interviewer the feeling that you are getting on. For example, if the interviewer leans forward, you may lean forward to; if he nods, you may nod too. Do not start mirroring as soon as you start with the interview process, do not copy instantaneously or it will look awkward ,do not overdo it.

 Have a great interview !!!

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