The Importance of Body Language in Interviews
We’ve all been to an interview that we felt could have gone better, or maybe we weren’t on top form that day. It can be frustrating, as a face to face interview is your first chance to impress the interviewer. The individual interviewing, be it a recruiter or HR, will firstly try and get a feel for how you will fit their company/role on a personal level, and of course to ensure you have the desired requirements for the role. First impressions are everything when it comes to interview situations, so we want to make sure we get it right.
Your body language can have a significant impact on how you’re first perceived, and so it is important that you are aware of this from the moment you arrive to your interview. Appearance counts during interviews — not only how you dress, but also how you carry yourself. Here are some handy hints to ensure your body language makes a good impression.
Before the Interview
If you have some time to wait before your interview, try and refrain from taking out your phone and take an interest in your surroundings. If they have magazines or books, take a look at these instead. From the moment you step inside the building you will need to be aware of how you are presenting yourself. Many buildings will have a receptionist or a potential future colleague close by and you will want to make sure you are giving off the very best first impression. It is also to be noted that it is best practice to be standing before being approached by the interviewer.
Studies show that handshakes play an important role in first impressions, so make sure to lead with a solid hand shake. As this will be your first-time meeting with the interviewer, you will need to approach them in a friendly yet professional manner. Try and avoid sweaty palms. If you are feeling the heat, running some cold water on your wrists can cool you down and prevent sweaty hands.
Posture - Sit up straight
If your interviewer does not tell you where to take a seat or you are unsure, don’t be afraid to ask. Generally, sitting opposite your interviewer is best as it will make them feel more comfortable facing you from a profile position. Never slouch in your seat. Leaning back suggests boredom or lack of interest. It is so important to sit up straight – you want to make sure you are coming across engaged and alert. Never cross your arms in an interview as this can be interpreted as a symbol of uncertainty or lack of interest. Instead make use of your arms or hands to emphasize your story or alternatively place them on your lap or the table.
Strive to find a healthy balance between making eye contact and avoiding eye contact completely. Eye contact is so important as you want to show that you are comfortable and confident in conversing with your interviewer, but you don’t want to make constant contact and risk the chance of making the interviewer feel uncomfortable. Try to imagine you are discussing your work experience with a family member or friend. This will make the contact more natural and somewhat effortless.
As much as an interview is a serious encounter, you also want to make sure that the interviewer can see you as a good fit on a personal level. Smiling is such an easy way to show that you are interested and approachable.
Leave your mark
When leaving your interview, you will want to leave a lasting impression. Always let them know that it was a pleasure to meet with them and you appreciate them taking the time to meet with you. Another strong handshake is a nice way to finish and depart from the interview. As before, always be aware about how you are being perceived until you have left the building.
For more advice on how to impress in an interview, you can check out our Top 6 Interview Tips here - https://www.toptierrecruitment.com/single-post/2016/10/19/Top-6-Interview-Tips