When interviewing for a job, most employers make a snap decision based on how you present yourself during the earliest stages of the interview. As important as it is to be prepared for the questions you will be asked, you should also work on developing good body language skills.
To avoid making body language mistakes, check out these helpful tips:
Interview Body Language: Dos
Enter the room with confidence
Focus on creating a professional image from the moment that you step through the front door of the building. In some cases, recruiters watch candidates from the second that they arrive. This gives them a chance to see what their body language is like when they don’t think they are being observed.
Shake hands firmly
If your handshake is too weak, you won’t project an air of confidence. On the other hand, if you squeeze too hard, it could make you seem desperate. Aim for a firm grip that is not so strong that it will hurt their hand. Don’t hold on too long, either. Otherwise, you could make your interviewer uncomfortable.
Maintain good posture
Focus on keeping the lower part of your back in contact with the chair. Try not to fidget with your legs. If necessary, you can lean forward a little bit during the interview. This lets the interviewer know that you are paying attention. Just avoid leaning forward too far or too frequently.
Maintain eye contact
Holding eye contact with the interviewer is a good way to demonstrate your confidence and to show them that you are listening. If eye contact makes you nervous, you can look at their nose instead. Try not to hold eye contact for longer than about 10 seconds.
Don’t be afraid to smile
When you smile, you naturally seem more approachable. Smiling also helps put you at ease, which can give you a more relaxed demeanor. This one simple action will make it easier for the recruiter to like you, which could improve your chances of getting hired.
Pay attention to what you are doing with your hands
Gesturing with your hands is fine when you are speaking. Just try to avoid using them too much. Don’t cross your arms or touch your face. If you have a hard time holding your hands still, ask the interviewer if you can jot down some notes. This gives your hands something to do while still letting the interviewer know that you are listening to what they are saying.
Shut off your phone right away. Don’t fidget with your feet and keep your head in an upright position.
Interview Body Language: Don’ts
Don’t assume that the job is yours
If you are too confident going into your interview, it can give you an air of arrogance. This can wind up harming your chances of getting hired.
Avoid shaking hands too weakly
If you don’t squeeze hard enough when you shake hands, it can make it seem like you don’t have any confidence. An easy rule to follow is that you should try to use the same level of pressure as the interviewer when shaking hands. One thing to remember is that you should never fist-bump the interviewer, no matter how casual the interview seems.
Poor posture can make it look like you aren’t interested in what the interviewer is saying. Crossing your arms or legs can also make you seem less approachable. When your arms or legs are crossed, it gives the interviewer the impression that you are closed off or inaccessible.
Although making eye contact is essential, you don’t want to overdo it. It is one thing to pay attention to. It is another thing altogether to stare at your interviewer so long that they get uncomfortable. Don’t forget to blink, as well.
Don’t play with your hair or your pen
If you have a habit of playing with your hair or with whatever you have in your hands, try to break the habit before going into your interview. Ask some of your family members or friends to point out any irritating habits that you have that could harm your chances of getting hired since you may not always be aware of them.
If you are constantly shifting around in your seat or moving into different positions, it will make the interviewer think that you aren’t comfortable or confident.
The chances of reaching the interview stage are greatly increased by having a great cover letter and resume. Read more about writing a cover letter for the Australian job market.
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