Interview Tips: Body Language – what works and what don’t.
You are sitting across from the hiring manager of the dream job that you have always wanted. It is 15 minutes into the interview, and you are just done telling your future boss and the HR Manager about your flawless job history.
You have everything they are looking for in the perfect candidate for the position – the skills, the experience, the qualifications. You are impeccably dressed for the occasion.
Oooh, it is cold in the room. You started to shift in your chair, and fold your arms to keep warm, while answering Mr Boss-from-heaven’s questions.. and you notice him frown.
10 minutes later, the interview is over.
We are exaggerating some in the scenario above, but what we are trying to put across is this: contrary to what many candidates think, a perfect CV, impeccable dressing, and politically correct answers will not guarantee that you ace that interview. Body language speaks in volumes louder than you think. It determines the interviewers’ initial impression of you, and that can pretty much set the stage for the direction of the interview.
Here are 5 things worth noting when you go for your next interview.
Have a firm handshake
Unless your job requires you to do nothing but sit and look pretty, you need to exude confidence, and a “deadfish” handshake does not do that. Confidently grasp your interviewer’s hand (there is no need to squeeze the life out of it though), and remember to ensure eye contact and smile while at it.
Do not be restless
Don’t swivel your chair – not even slightly. Don’t shift your mobile phone around on the table. Don’t shuffle your feet. Don’t cross your legs and shake one of them idly. Don’t slouch in your seat. Don’t click your pen. All of these make you look disinterested and tell the interviewers you have a HUGE problem in staying focused. Sit up straight and lean slightly forward to project interest and engagement.
Address everyone in the room when you talk
If there is more than one interviewer in the room, don’t make those other than the one asking questions feel like they are invisible. Briefly address each of them with your gaze when you speak, but return your attention to the one asking the question.
Show that you are interested and listening
Nod and make positive gestures – in moderation so you don’t look like the bobbing head doll on your car dashboard. It tells the interviewer you are interested and acknowledging what he/she is saying. Hand gestures are good, but too many of them make it looks like you are flailing your arms, so again moderation is the key.
Do not lean your body towards the door
Unless you are anticipating a fire to break out, it makes it look like you are ready to dash out the door in a hurry. Make sure you sit facing your interviewer, while keeping a comfortable distance so it does not feel like you are invading his/her personal space.
Contributor : Elaine Yang
” Elaine Yang is a chocolate connoisseur , recruiter, an avid writer and also a Reiki teacher “