Interviews can be nerve wracking, and nervous job seekers can find themselves so involved in worrying about what they should say and what they should not say, that they can very easily forget all about their body language and what story it may be telling the interviewer.
Slouching in your chair, cracking your knuckles, avoiding eye contact and not keeping your cell phone off and out of sight during an interview, can create a really bad first impression.
Remember that first impressions do count and that the interview is not only about how you are able to sell yourself through your verbal communication skills, and what you wear to the interview, but also as to what body language you are showing.
Body language is extremely important, and how we portray ourselves through our body language can be very telling. This is especially true when it comes to the trained eye of interviewers who often know how to read body language.
Follow these 6 simple tips to ensure your body language does not hold against you:
1. Sit up straight. This is probably the most important thing you can do to create the right impression with your body language. It also shows good posture and gives the impression that you are paying attention.
2. Ensure you greet with a firm handshake. Make sure you greet the interviewer politely and with a handshake, if there is more than one person in the interview, greet each person individually. When you leave, if possible shake their hand again, and ensure you say goodbye politely and respectfully.
3. Don’t get into the interviewers body space. Try to ensure you do not invade the interviewers body space. It is a long term standing rule of social etiquette to stay out peoples personal space. There is an invisible boundary, and people feel uncomfortable if you step within it, so ensure you are mindful of ones personal space when in an interview.
4. Make good eye contact. Avoiding eye contact can be very off putting, ensure you look the interviewer directly in the eye when they are speaking to you and make good eye contact for the entire interview.
5. Keep any bad habits you have to yourself. If you are a nail biter, a hair twirler, a leg tapper or or have a nervous throat clearing habit, ensure you are aware of it, and keep it out of the interview. Not only do these bad habits look bad and can be very annoying, they also can make you look unprofessional.
6. Avoid crossing your arms. Doing this can create an impression that you are on the defensive or nervous, you want to appear confident and relaxed during the interview. Try to keep your hands in your lap.
So always remember while you are telling the interviewer how great you are, your body language could very easily be telling a very different story, so ensure you always let your body do the talking as well, and that what is says is as great as what your verbal communication is.