Body language tips for your job interview
When you are getting ready for that big job interview, your clothes are pressed and you’ve rehearsed some likely questions, consider this fact: just 40% of your communication is spoken. Body language tells an experienced interviewer far more than your mouth ever can.
Your body language gives away your mood, your level of comfort with a particular question and more. Of course you react to stimuli, so it’s impossible to control your body language 100%, but just being aware of some of the silent cues can give you a chance to control them and alter your posture.
Here are five top body language tips to take into your interview, and your handshake, although it should be firm and confident, isn’t one of them.
1. Your posture
Sit upright, but not like you have a rod of steel stuck down your spine. If you need to, practise, just sit with a slight forward lean towards the interviewer that will show you are attentive, and it will also invite them into a conversation. This one small change could change the whole feeling of the interview and put them at ease too.
Do not slouch and do not shrink into your chair when a hard question flies at you. You’d be surprised how often this happens and it’s a dead giveaway.
2. Eye contact
Again it’s a balancing act, don’t stare directly at them and never blink. Solid eye contact is an age-old human sign of trust, though, so you should make sure you do it. You’re nervous, they understand that, but you know you can’t look at the floor the whole time. So make a conscious effort to make soft eye contact for seconds at a time, it gets easier as you practise this.
3. Your hands
It can be tricky to know what to do with them, but you can look too rigid if you hide your hands in your lap. Also, expressive speech, using your hands to make a point, gives a look of confidence. It’s a good thing, so if it makes sense then loosely clasp your hands together on the desk in front of you and then bring them into play as and when required. Don’t wring them, though; if you think that might happen then leaving them in your lap might be the lesser of two evils.
Don’t fully cross your legs, it’s a defensive gesture that sets the wrong tone for the whole interview. Conversely, crossing them gently at the ankles works just as well as placing both feet flat on the floor, it’s a confident approach that the interviewer will like.
5. Your tone of voice
Pitch, tone and delivery will mean everything. Focus on even, slow delivery. Don’t dive in after a question, either, breathe, pause, look like you’ve thought about what’s about to fly out of your mouth and you might even stop yourself saying the odd daft thing.