PROJECTING THE RIGHT IMAGE: Your body language plays a very important role at a job interview.
So you’ve made it to the interview stage of the application process but are you ready to show your most positive, employable side? Body language plays a huge role in how we’re perceived – not slouching or crossing your arms are the obvious actions to avoid, but what about the less obvious signs? Making these small changes will certainly improve your chances of getting the job you applied for.
1. What are your hands saying?
Playing with your hair or tie, or clutching a bag or glass for longer than needed will make you look tense and nervous. Keep your palms up and open to show honesty and receptiveness and remember a firm handshake is the quickest way to establish rapport.
2. Look like you mean it
Making direct eye contact can be intimidating but the trick is to try and relax and listen. By focusing 100% on what your interviewer is saying you will naturally focus your eyes on theirs while showing interest and alertness.
3. Lean forward to listen
Leaning ever-so slightly forwards signifies you’re interested and focused.
4. Go slow
Think before replying to questions and try not to rush through your answers. If you need to take a moment, take it. Pause, think, reply – it’s important to be in control rather than letting yourself ramble.
5. Pick a positive role model
What media personalities do you think have particularly good body language? Check out their interviews and see if there’s anything you can learn. A winning smile is usually key!
6. Dress for the job you want
Before the interview find out the company’s dress code and match it. While over-dressing won’t harm your chances of getting the job, under-dressing almost certainly will.
Stand in front of a mirror and practice introducing yourself and answering a simple interview question such as ‘How do you see yourself fitting in our company?’. You’ll instantly realise when you need to increase and decrease your positive body language signals.
And if this is too much for you to remember another handy tip is to subtly imitate any positive body language signals your interviewer is making. If they’re smiling and relaxed, you should try to do the same. While good body language alone won’t get you the job you always wanted, it will definitely help in projecting a confident and professional image of yourself.