When it comes to landing your dream job, polishing your resume is just one of several steps you need to master. Once you make it to the interview stage, you’ll want to use your body language to showcase your best professional self as well as your genuine personality.
Body language is a form of communication, and it’s essential to be mindful of the message you’re sending with it. During a job interview, you’ll want to use it to communicate not only your ambition and qualifications but also your confidence and poise.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of body language in an interview and provide you with 8 tips to help you send the right message and nail your next job interview.
What Is Body Language and Why Is It Important in an Interview?
Body language refers to what you’re communicating without speaking. These nonverbal cues can include your posture, eye contact, facial expressions, hand gestures, and even how you dress.
We read each other’s body language and vocal delivery to make hundreds of snap judgments that affect whether we like, trust, and respect a person. These snap judgments powerfully impact a decision of whether to hire someone or not.
Your resume got you to this point, but your physical and vocal delivery are crucial factors in how you’ll be perceived during the interview.
For example, studies have shown that eye contact, smiling, facial expressions, posture, handshakes, and fidgeting are some of the most telling nonverbal cues in an interview. As such, you need to be just as prepared to give positive nonverbal cues as you are to answer interview questions.
8 Body Language Tips for Your Next Interview
- Make a Solid First Impression: Your first impression is crucial in an interview, so it's important to appear confident and composed right from the moment you enter the building. Maintain strong eye contact and introduce yourself with confidence, both with the receptionist and the interviewer.
- Think Twice Before Wearing the New Shoes: If your wardrobe causes you to fidget or do a lot of shifting, consider going with an appropriate but reliable option instead.
- Make Eye Contact: Eye contact is essential because it showcases your confidence in yourself and your answers. Avoid looking around the room or down at your watch, as it makes you appear apprehensive and distracted.
- Be Responsive and Listen to Understand: Engage your interviewer by actively listening and responding thoughtfully to their questions. Avoid interrupting, and take a moment to gather your thoughts before answering.
- Mind Your Posture: Slouching or leaning back in your chair can communicate boredom, while sitting on the edge of your seat can come across as anxious. Sit up straight with your feet on the ground, and lean in slightly to show interest.
- Use Hand Gestures: Hand gestures can emphasize your points and make you appear more engaging. However, avoid overdoing it or using distracting gestures.
- Exit with Confidence: Your exit should be just as strong as your entrance, even if you feel the interview didn't go well. Don't let your disappointment show by slouching or looking down at your feet. Instead, repeat the steps from your entrance, including a genuine smile and a firm handshake, and thank your interviewer for their time.
- Practice Makes Perfect: It's okay if these tips don't come naturally to you. Take the time to practice in front of a mirror or with a friend who can give you constructive feedback. If your interview is remote, try a video call with a friend to test your angles and facial expressions.
By following these tips, you can make a strong exit and leave a positive impression on your interviewer. Remember, practice makes perfect, so take the time to prepare and you'll be ready for any interview that comes your way.