Job interviews are a tightrope walk, and a lot of interviewees struggle to project the right image so they can beat the competition and earn the job. During job interviews, what you do is often more important than what you say. Your body language will say more about who you are and how suitable you are for the job than the words you utter. In this post, we look at 6 simple body language tips that’ll help you carry the day in the interview room.
1. Sit all the way back
This is a simple body language tip, but one that can give you a lot of mileage with the interviewers. Sit firmly and lean back against your chair. This is an immediate signal of confidence and assurance. If you naturally slouch, you can pretend that there are some strings pulling you so you maintain this confident posture. Keep in mind that first impressions matter, and how you project yourself during those first moments when you’re in the interview room will say a lot about who you are.
2. Get the eye contact right
When direct eye contact is usually a body language plus, this might not be the best approach in the interview room. The idea is to go for direct face contact instead. You want to appear like you’re interested enough and engaged to look at various areas of someone’s face for every two seconds. You could rotate from the lips, eyes, nose, and any other area just provided you’re not fixated to drilling your interviewer’s eyes.
3. Do something with your hands
If you’re just not sure what to do with your hands, you can use them to gesture while you speak. When people are nervous (such as when they’re in the interview room), they tend to hide their hands. Keeping your hands hidden in the interview room could be misinterpreted to be distrustful behavior, and this might end up costing you a job that you’re really qualified for!
4. Show your palms
When you show your palms, you signal honesty and engagement. This will make the interviewer comfortable with you. Traditionally, it’s one of the reasons why people shake hands. It’s very tied to survival instincts. When you can’t see someone’s open palms, it puts you on guard. In addition, upward-facing body language gestures such as smiles, open palms, and straight posture make you appear more energetic.
5. Plant your feet
Keep both your feet firmly on the ground. For ladies, close at your ankles and not your knees. Scientific evidence suggests that keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground can help you switch between creative thought, as well as complex rational thought.
6. Refine your walk
Interviewers can make the decision whether or not to hire you within the first 10 seconds after meeting you. How you walk into the interview room plays into that decision. You should keep your shoulders pulled back and your neck elongated, with each stride about one (at most two) feet away. Walk directly towards the interviewer with all parts of your body pointing in that direction, and maintain eye contact with regular breaks to the side.
Breathing deeply when questions are asked, and then speaking (answering) on the exhale can also help you seem more reassured. A bonus tip is to nod your head while listening, which gives the impression of attentiveness. So go right ahead and practice these body language tips to make your next interview fruitful!