Most job seekers come well-prepared to answer an interviewer’s questions, but often do not pay enough attention to what their body language is saying.
Body language and non-verbal communication have long been used by recruiters as a tip-off to a candidate’s personality. This is why I have compiled 5 body language secrets that will give you the edge to ace your next interview.
According to Harvard Professor Amy Cuddy, taking up a short “power pose” right before your interview changes your body language and makes you feel more confident. This could be as simple as standing with your feet apart, your hands on your hips, and your chin facing upwards. In simple words, fake it till you make it! Assuming the body language of a confident person tricks your mind into being confident, and producing immediate improvements-both psychological and physical.
When you walk over to the interviewer, don’t slouch or make yourself look smaller. Maintain eye contact, keep a smile on your face, and walk with purpose. It is normal to feel nervous before an interview, but it should never be visible to the interviewer. What works for me is to consciously pull my shoulders back and straighten my spine. Continue to adopt this posture even while you are seated. Your posture should invite the interviewer to have a conversation with you, and not make them feel like you are there under duress!
2) Seated Posture
There are different postures you can adopt, depending on what comes to you naturally. But firstly, no slouching whatsoever! If you usually tend to slouch, you might be doing it without even realizing it, so make an effort to straighten your spine.
You can mirror the interviewer’s body language which shows admiration and agreement. Alternatively, you could also lean in every now and then so you appear engaged and interested. Your body language should be open but not territorial or aggressive, so refrain from elongating your legs or hanging an arm from the back of the chair.
Using your hands can aid in getting your point across, as long as you don’t go overboard. If you flail your hands too much, the impression can quickly cross the line from signalling honesty to nervousness.
You could also press your fingertips together like a church steeple to display confidence and interest.
Hiding your hands, drumming your fingers, playing with your nails, or jerky movements can be misinterpreted as distrustful behaviour so be alert of your body movements.
4) Eye Contact
Eye contact can be tricky, and you need to strike a balance between staring constantly which can come off as creepy, to avoiding eye contact that can make you come across as untrustworthy. Aim to make eye connection when responding to questions, but allow your eyes to wander occasionally.
Think of it this way: how would you make eye contact while chatting with a friend?
Remember that if there is more than one interviewer, make eye contact with each of them equally, even if you are answering a question asked by one specific person.
5) Voice and Tone
I am generally a loud person, which is why I consciously lower my volume every time I am in an interview. Alternatively, if your natural voice is low-pitched, aim to project your voice. How will an interviewer get to know how fabulous a candidate you are if they can’t even hear you clearly?
It is easy to tune out someone who is speaking in a monotone, so add some variety to your tone. Stress on important points, to aid in highlighting your accomplishments.