In an interview, like any other meeting, first impressions are essential. Our body language signals only two types of signals: friend or foe. Usually, our hands and face are the main players to construct an image of who we are. In an interview, the interviewer is searching for clues all the time. He or she builds a perception based on the information they collected about you, your voice, your use of your hands and face features and micro-features.
It is a common knowledge that only 7% of your communication is based on the words we say; 38% depends on our voice and other vocal elements like tone and pitch, and 55% is based on nonverbal clues like our facial expression and our gestures.
In this article, we will teach you how to use your body language to send the right signals to the interviewer, build rapport with them and land the job.
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
Approach the front desk with a smile and relaxed posture. Don’t move your eyes around the office too much. Also, do not keep fidgeting in your cell phone or show signs of boredom. Checking your news feed will ‘feed’ your brain with news and ideas that ignite certain emotions. Such emotions show on your face and your body language. So, avoid reading the sad or disturbing news before the interview.
DURING THE INTERVIEW
When sitting down with the hiring manager or the interviewer, make sure that your shoulders are angled forward, and you slightly lean towards them. Also, keep your hands visible and your palms open. It is also advisable to align your toes towards the interviewer, this way, your whole body will be aligned towards them. It is also essential to maintain your open posture and do not slouch in your chair or fold your arms. Slouching will make your body smaller and convey signals on low confidence.
Also, do not fidget with anything, like a pen or a button or any article near you. This act may signal three types of messages: either you are not interested, or you are bored, or you are nervous or stressed, and you are trying to distract yourself from the feeling. Also maintain your eye contact with the interviewer, without gazing at them.
AT THE END OF THE INTERVIEW
Maintain your posture and open gestures until the end of the interview. Extend your hand for a firm, but not rigid, handshake and always keep the soft smile.