There’s a lot that goes into the impression you make during an interview. While your verbal communication with a recruiter is obviously important, your body language can also have a huge impact. In fact, an article from Psychology Today states, “it’s widely believed that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice and 7% is the actual words spoken.” Here are some specific areas of body language that can affect your interview and deserve your attention.
Some people aren’t quite sure what to do with their hands during an interview, and may end up making things a bit awkward. To begin, you’ll want to have a firm handshake that’s neither too strong (which shows arrogance) or too soft (which shows weakness). During the interview, you should keep your hands rested on your legs in a neutral position and avoid tapping your fingers because it conveys nervousness. You should also avoid crossing your arms because this conveys defensiveness and makes you seem less unapproachable.
Finding the right balance of eye contact is important. Fail to maintain enough eye contact, and it can make you come across as unconfident, disinterested or dishonest. Use too much eye contact, and you can potentially come across as being hostile, and you’ll put out an overly intense vibe. Ideally, you’ll maintain consistent eye contact and use just slightly more than your interviewer.
Things like jittery knees, tapping your toes and swinging your feet are definitely a no-no during an interview because it will make you appear anxious and uncomfortable. That’s why you should always be conscious of these nervous habits, because they’re some of the most common ways that people cope with anxiety. Just try to remain relaxed and take a deep breath to minimize these tendencies.
According to Total Jobs, “you can quickly get on good terms with your interviewer by matching their positive body language.” The psychology behind this is that people tend to trust others who are similar to themselves and are likely to feel more comfortable. However, this should always be done subtly and not be anything over the top.
You simply want to pay attention to things like body shifts they make, speech phrasing and overall body language and mirror it. For example, if your interviewer puts their hand on their chin, you could do the same, but wait approximately 30 seconds to a minute before doing so.
Though sometimes overlooked, body language plays a big role in how an interview goes, and the impression you make. Understanding these concepts should help you fine-tune your body language and make the best impression possible.
For more helpful tips for your job search, please check out our career advice.