Mastering Body Language in Interviews: Make the Best Impression Every Time
You've polished your CV, prepped your answers, and you're dressed to impress. Yet, have you paused to think about what your body language might be saying about you during your interview? While body language might seem like a subtle element in the grand scheme of things, it can significantly sway the outcome of your interview.
Why Body Language Matters
Did you know that body language accounts for a whopping 90% of how we're perceived? It's a powerful tool that can either project confidence and poise or, on the flip side, convey anxiety and inexperience. (White, Taneasha. "8 Body Language Tips for Your next Job Interview." The Muse, The Muse, 10 June 2021.)
The First Impression Counts
- Eye Contact: It's simple but powerful. When introducing yourself, maintain eye contact and offer a genuine smile. It displays confidence and attentiveness.
- The Handshake: A firm handshake shows assertiveness and enthusiasm. It sets the tone for the rest of the interview.
- Focus: Avoid scanning the room. Instead, concentrate on your interviewer. It not only reinforces your interest in the conversation but also helps establish a stronger connection.
Engagement is Key
- Listen Actively: Don't dominate the conversation. Pay attention to your interviewer, ask questions, and show genuine interest in the role and company.
- Lean in: Leaning slightly towards your interviewer indicates engagement and interest. Also, remember the occasional nod to resonate with what's being said.
The Art of Hand Talk
If you're someone who talks with their hands, don't restrain yourself. It can be seen as authentic and can emphasize your points. When you're not using them to communicate, keep your hands rested on your lap or the table.
Exit with Grace
Exiting the interview is just as crucial as entering. Reinforce that firm handshake, offer a sincere smile, and thank your interviewer graciously for their time.
Remote Interview? No Problem
If you think body language doesn't matter in a remote interview, think again. The same principles apply, perhaps even more, since the visual cues become more important. Ensure your engagement, genuine smiles, and appropriate hand placement.
Feel Unnatural? Practice!
If these tips feel unnatural, there's no better solution than practice. Engage with friends or family, both in person and remotely, to get comfortable. And remember to tap into the expertise of recruiters. Their insights are invaluable, as they're constantly receiving feedback on candidate interviews.
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