Continuing our theme of discussing interviews, this blog is perhaps more for candidates, but also something to keep in mind if you are conducting interviews – what does your body language look like to your candidate?
Interviews are nerve racking, make no mistake, it can be hard to hold it all together when you so desperately have your heart pinned on getting ‘that’ job. Perhaps you’ve had a few knock backs and your confidence is flailing? Most people have been there at some stage in their careers.
Body language is so important – you can be saying all the right things, but your body may be screaming a completely different message. So to make sure your voice and body language is in sync for your next interview (or perhaps networking meeting) keep these simple tips in mind….
A firm but not overpowering handshake is a must! A limp handshake can be taken as a weak character and that you really don’t want to engage with the other party. But don’t over do it and crush your interviewers hand either!
Always use your right hand, make sure your hands are dry (sweaty clammy hands- eeek!), be firm, confident, make eye contact and most importantly – smile!
Project your confidence with your posture, sit up straight! Never cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets. This can be taken as arrogance, that you are shutting down the conversation or are just not interested at all!
Sometimes you will find yourself doing this naturally! Echoing the interviewer’s movements can show empathy and can help establish rapport. Subtlety is important though!
One of the safest and most effective ways to do this is to lean in, or back when they do.
I think this is perhaps one of the most important body language tips for anyone. Good eye contact conveys confidence and sincerity. During your interview, you should spend most of the time looking anywhere in the eye-nose triangle.
If you can’t make eye contact with your interviewer, what are they going to think about your ability connect with a customer?
You need to look away occasionally – locking eyes with someone for an extended period of time can be seen as aggressive…and a little creepy!
Use open and expressive physical gestures to involve the interviewer in what you are saying. Open palms suggest honesty. Avoid pointing or any hand gestures that could be received as being aggressive.
There is a fine balance here too – some gestures are great to tell a story but waiving your arms around can be off putting to say the least for the interviewer! I have seen some shockers – some people are as stiff as a board others over do it – and it’s mostly from nerves!
Using the combined body language tips above in addition to an enthusiastic expression you will convey to your interviewer that you are truly interested in this job…not just a job.
Show your enthusiasm by keeping an interested expression. Smile, not and make positive gestures. Be careful to do all of this in moderation – you don’t want to look like a nodding dog!!!