Body language can play a huge part in how we communicate and can influence another person’s opinion and behaviour in a positive or negative way.
Here are some simple guidelines to follow in your next job interview to help promote yourself better and communicate positively about who you are.
Always sit firmly in the chair and make sure you do not slouch, pretend you have a book balancing on your head!
Look At Me
Use face contact not just eye contact every two seconds, rotating from eyes, to nose, to lips, so you’re never just staring into the interviewer’s eyes. This helps you to look interested without making the interviewer uneasy. Don’t linger on the lips too long as this may look flirtatious, which in an interview is a definite no no.
Never fiddle with your hands, fingers or nails or hide your hands as this makes you look nervous and uneasy. Use them to emphasise what you are saying and don’t be afraid to gesture with them. Make sure when you gesture, you turn your palms facing up as this signals honesty and engagement, making your interviewer more comfortable and receptive to what you are saying.
If you smile at someone then generally they smile back. So think about your facial expressions and make sure your mouth is turned upwards in a friendly way without looking like the joker.
Women should never cross at the knees, but rather the ankles, as this allows them to switch legs if necessary without being obvious. Scientifically you are better balanced with both feet on the ground meaning that both the left and right brain are ready to be utilised. Flat feet can help you go between creative thought and highly complex rational thought.
Walk This Way
Interviewers often make a hiring judgment within the first 10 seconds of you entering the room. How you walk into the room is a part of that judgment. Your shoulders should be pulled back and neck elongated, each stride should be roughly one to two feet apart. You should always walk directly towards the person you are meeting with every body part pointing in their direction, maintaining eye contact with occasional breaks to the side before you reach out to shake their hand firmly. If you are sitting down when the interviewer arrives, make sure you stand up to shake their hand.
One way to soothe interview nerves is to breathe properly. Think about inhaling when the interviewer asks you a question, then try speaking on the exhale, following the airflow allowing the words to calmly leave your mouth. Try to take 10 deep, diaphragmatic breaths before the interview, as this will help reduces our heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone level.
It is important to show you are actively engaged in a conversation and this can be done with a simple nod, as this shows attentiveness. Nod your head occasionally to let them know you are enjoying and understand what is being said without turning into a crazy nodding toy.
For more tips on interviews why not read our interview tips found on our resources page of our website.