You’ve prepped your resume, honed your interview techniques and put together the perfect outfit for your job interview, but you could be ignoring one of the most telling elements about you: your body language. Your body language can indicate your level of stress and confidence to interviewers. Job recruiters agree that what you say verbally pales in comparison to what you say non-verbally. Here are some tips to make sure you’re saying the right things in your interview.
Enter and exit gracefully
You never know who’s watching from the window as you walk in or who might be in the elevator with you as you arrive. Make sure to adjust all your clothing and gather your belongings in an organized fashion before you approach the building. The same thing applies when you leave the building. Fidgeting with clothing, hair and your belongings makes you appear disorganized and frantic, so keep your cool as you arrive and leave the interview.
Master the handshake
We’ve all heard the old saying that you can tell a lot about a person by their handshake, so make sure you’re projecting the right message with yours. Grasp the interviewer’s hand firmly and make sure you achieve palm-to-palm contact. Make sure you grip firmly, but not too firmly as you can be perceived as overly aggressive or anxious if you have an overly assertive grasp. Observe an appropriate amount of personal space; get too close and you could make your interviewer uncomfortable.
Practice perfect posture
When sitting during an interview, make sure that you keep your hands above the table where they can be seen. Hidden hands give off signals of distrust. Sit up straight and keep arms open and rested on the table or armrests. Be sure not to cross your arms as this is a sign of disinterest and defensiveness. Instead, use your hands to gently gesture. This will communicate that you are enthusiastic about what you’re saying. Sit up straight so you’ll appear attentive and interested, and be sure your body is aligned toward your interviewer to signal openness and agreement.
There are many facets of a job interview to prepare for, don’t forget to prep for what you’re saying when you’re not talking. Maintaining open and positive job interview body language could mean the difference between landing the job and losing it.