You can only make one first impression – Here are a few tips on the do’s and don’ts of body language for your next interview!
When preparing for an interview you memorize your resume, research the history of the company, think of a few questions to ask, and pick out your best outfit days in advance.
There’s one thing you may have forgotten, how you will conduct yourself using body language. Being aware of what would usually be unconscious gestures and movements are as important as your answers to the questions themselves.
Delivery of response is just as imperative to what you are actually saying, for example you have two possible Physician candidates both equally qualified; one clearly exudes confidence while the other appears shy and timid. It is most likely that the candidate with confidence will be selected. Confidence, especially when on an interview shows the perspective employer competence and makes them believe in your abilities.
Here are a few things to keep in mind – for your next interview, or any first encounter:
The Handshake: When you meet a hiring manager, you want to show them you’re professional and confident. Luckily, you can send this message right away by having a firm handshake. For decades recruiters and professionals have advised job seekers to have a confident handshake, and this advice is just as applicable today as it was then. If you’re worried you have a weak handshake, ask to practice with a friend.
Posture: Bad posture is not only bad for your back, but it can also cost you a great job. Leaning back in a chair or slumping forward can portray laziness and disinterest. You want to sit in a neutral position. Keep your back straight and leave your hands at your sides or neatly folded in your lap. Don’t cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets. These motions can come across as defensive.
Nervous Habits: Most people are understandably anxious at interviews, but you need to be mindful of your bad habits, such as scratching your nose, biting your nails or pushing your hair behind your ears. These habits tell interviewers you’re nervous, and can even distract them. If you aren’t sure if you fidget, ask your friends. They’ll have noticed or will pay attention to your personal habits.
Eye Contact: The right amount of eye contact can be tricky. If you look someone directly in the eyes too long, you can come across as aggressive. However, avoiding eye contact in an interview is a mistake. Managers want you to maintain eye contact with them – it shows them you’re confident. If you need to know when to take a rest, break eye contact when you’re taking a few seconds to think of a response. Then, when you respond to the interviewer, maintain eye contact again.
Positive body language can be the bridge between you and your ideal job!
“First Impressions Count: Improve Your Job Interview Body Language.” ZipRecruiter. N.p., 28 Mar. 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2015.