Body Language Tips for Your Next Job Interview
Preparing for a job interview can be tough. You have to be confident, but not so confident that you appear arrogant. You have to sell yourself without bragging about past accomplishments. At first, finding the right balance might seem impossible. However, you don’t have to rely on words alone. Body language goes a long way in communicating the type of person you are. Here are 6 body language tips to help you nail your next job interview.
1. Eliminate nervous habits
Most people have multiple nervous ticks they’re not even aware of. Some common ones are touching the face or hair, biting lips, and crossing arms. Keeping your hands busy might help if you’re naturally a fidgety person. Using hand gestures while you speak can make you seem more natural and at ease than keeping them clenched in your lap. Planting both feet on the ground can also curb the temptation to cross your legs.
2. Practice your handshake
You want it to be firm without being too strong or too limp. Try practicing with a few friends until you find the right balance. When it’s time to greet your interviewer, offer your hand with your palm up. Showing your palms is a sign of vulnerability and openness, and it’s an effective way to start your interview on a positive note.
3. Face contact, not eye contact
We’ve all heard how strong eye contact conveys confidence, but too much can be unsettling. So what’s the secret to good eye contact? It’s not eye contact at all, but “face contact.” Rather than holding your interviewer’s gaze in an unbreaking stare, shift your gaze to different areas of their face every few seconds. This will help you appear engaged in the conversation without making your interviewer uncomfortable.
4. Pay attention to posture
If you’re offered a choice of seating, pick the uncomfortable, straight-backed chair over something padded or cushioned. The latter will tempt you to slouch. Sit up straight without leaning all the way back in your chair, and keep your chin parallel to the ground.
5. Nod and lean slightly forward
Even with perfect posture, sitting as stiff as a statue can make your interviewer feel like they’re talking to a statue, too. Nodding and leaning forward ever so slightly gives off the impression that you’re paying attention to the conversation. Helping your interviewer feel understood and interesting will go a long way in leaving a good impression.
6. Don’t neglect the exit
The worst thing to do after a successful interview is flubbing the exit. It’s your interviewer’s last chance to study your behaviour. Offer your hand one more time. If you have multiple interviewers, try to offer a handshake to every person in the room. If there are more than three interviewers, a single handshake for the main interviewer is acceptable. Finally, make sure to walk away using a natural, even stride.
Job interviews are nerve-wracking for a reason. The stakes can be high, and the competition can be fierce. Being as prepared as possible is the only way you can truly set yourself up for success. Body language is just as important as having the right answers and a polished resumé. Remember these 6 tips and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your dream career.