- September 04th, 2015
You’ve prepared and practiced. You’ve selected professional apparel that makes you shine. Your resume is well-honed and you’re ready for whatever the interviewer throws at you. When it’s interview time, you might feel like you’re 100% ready.
But are you?
Even with well-rehearsed responses, a friendly demeanor, and impressive references, there’s one extra thing that can make or break your interview: body language.
Is Body Language Really That Important?
Nonverbal communication can be just as vital as what is coming out of your mouth. A well-known communication study by Dr. Albert Mehabrian concluded that roughly 93% of a message is nonverbal. The impact of words themselves was given only 7%. While this may be an extreme figure, it points to the importance of body language and tone of voice in presentational situations. People get an impression or a “read” off of you from much more than simply what you are saying.
Presenting Yourself At Your Best
In an interview, you want to come across as authentic and confident, something which body language can help purvey. Stay aware of your physical presentation throughout the interview process, from start to finish, and focus on being natural and relaxed, while still maintaining appropriate body language.
Sound complicated? Here are some easy ways to utilise good body language:
Make a Great Entrance
First impressions are quite important. Your interview begins (unofficially) from the moment you enter the building. Some hiring managers even ask receptionists for their opinion on potential hires, so keep that in mind and hold onto that strong body language while you wait.
Upright posture is everything. This projects confidence and self-awareness. Allowing your shoulders to hunch forward and your chest to collapse can be taken as signs of insecurity or a lack of ambition. Sit proudly and with composure, but don’t spread out or appear too cavalier. This could be perceived as arrogance.
Your face should remain relaxed and engaged. Smiles are wonderful, but don’t plaster one on your face. Don’t force it. Be natural and allow your face to be expressive with your emotions and thoughts.
Greeting Your Interviewer
When waiting for the interviewer, try to position yourself in a way that will be the most graceful. When they come out to greet you, you will want to stand up easily and effortlessly, so don’t hold all your belongings on your lap. Consider positioning them in your left arm so that when you rise you can easily shake the interviewer’s hand with your right. Handshakes should be firm, brief, and include eye contact. This demonstrates confidence in yourself and an outgoing, friendly personality.
During the Interview
Once the interview has begun, keep up that stellar body language. In the interview room, place your belongings on the floor next to you. Holding them on your lap can seem like you are not relaxed or are closed off.
The ideal seating position is to sit up tall with your torso open; this indicates your assertiveness and comfort. Crossing your legs is fine, but many experts suggest keeping feet planted firmly on the ground will help root and centre you. Woman may feel most comfortable with their legs crossed at the ankle.
Feel free to use gestures as you answer questions and make statements, but it’s advisable to keep your arms at a low level. Gestures that are too high seem aggressive or intense. Lower angles suggest that you are steady and controlled — a valuable asset in an employee.
Ready to Go?
With these body language tips firmly in place, you’re ready to soar through the interview process. If you’re a jobseeker, contact our team at On Line Recruitment and Labour Hire. We’ll work hard for you, identifying the best career opportunities for you and matching you with great companies. Let’s get started on your future today.