First impressions are not only vital, but are nearly impossible to change. Did you know on average it takes just seven seconds for someone to create their first impression of you? In an interview, you are judged from the very minute you walk into the building, so greet everyone you come into contact with, with a smile and speak clearly… you never know who’s opinion could be the make or break of your job offer.
We have put together some body language dos and don’ts for when you attend an interview. Check them out…
Don’t portray yourself as being scared of the interviewer or nervous around them. Walk in with confidence and give them a firm handshake, although don’t be too over confident that you come off as if you think you’re too good for the role. Sit right back in the chair and sit up straight, do not slouch – it can make the interviewer think you are not taking it seriously.
Keeping eye contact with your interviewer is the best way to show you’re actually paying attention and engaging with the situation. Of course this doesn’t mean stare blankly at them, but strive to hold eye contact for a few seconds at a time.
If you’re meeting with more than one interviewer, be sure to make eye contact with all of them. Address the person who asked the question, then hold eye contact with the other interviewer for a few seconds, before returning your attention to the first interviewer.
Smile and nod where appropriate, and laugh when the interviewer does. You want to show you have a personality and you’re paying attention to what’s being said.
It goes without saying that you should listen to the interviewer and try not to interrupt. Focus on keeping your tone of voice relaxed and polite. Too soft and you’ll seem timid, too loud and you’ll seem overbearing.
Sitting hunched forward, or lounging with arms and legs everywhere has the effect of looking a little too relaxed. You don’t want to sit there tightly clutching your fists in your lap, but you also don’t want to portray a casual, not bothered attitude.
From the moment you arrive in the reception area, you need to keep your posture perfect. Always be aware of your body position. Sit up straight and lean forwards a little when you’re asked question, it gives a sense of curiosity and engagement.
This is a big no-no! This could possibly be one of the worst things you could do in an interview as it says to the interviewer that you couldn’t be less interested in the opportunity possibly being given to you. It is likely that if you do zone out, the interviewer will just terminate the interview and ask you to leave!
This includes tapping your fingertips in the arm rest or jiggling your leg up or down. It’s a sign of boredom and impatience. Keep both feet planted firmly on the floor to avoid the temptation. It’ll help to keep your posture straight and focussed on your interviewer, which in turn will make you seem more focused.
Do not chew gum in the interview room. This is really unprofessional and it can make the interviewer think you’re not interested in what they think of you. It also makes you look like you’re too comfortable meeting them, you should be a little bit nervous as this could be your new career!
Do you have an interview coming up and are not sure what to where to look professional? Click here to follow our top tips.
Can you think of any other Dos and Don’ts for interview body language? Drop them in the comments below!