Body language for interviews
IF THERE’S ONE PLACE WHERE BODY LANGUAGE IS GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO YOUR DAY, IT HAS TO BE AT A JOB INTERVIEW. HOW YOU COME ACROSS VISUALLY ASSISTS THE INTERVIEWER TO MAKE A JUDGEMENT ON WHETHER THEY FEEL YOU WILL FIT INTO THE TEAM DYNAMICS OR NOT. BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT, ALLAN PEASE SHARES SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE DOÍS AND DONÍTS FOR YOUR NEXT JOB INTERVIEW.
Enter with Confidence
How you enter a room tells others how you expect to be treated. Don’t stand in the doorway even if your interviewer is on the phone. Enter the room, put down your briefcase or bag and sit down immediately.
Say their Name
Especially if you are meeting your interviewer for the first time, try to use their name twice in the first 15 seconds. It will make them feel important and you will remember their name through repetition.
Angle your chair, or body, 45 degrees away from the interviewer. This prevents you being stuck in the face-to-face position which can feel too intense and takes the pressure off your interview.
Learn the Jargon
Use power words, particularly in phone interviews. Research shows that some of the most persuasive words are ‘discovery’, ‘guarantee’, ‘love’, ‘health’, ‘money’, ‘easy’ and ‘you’. Choose words that are relevant to the industry you wish to work in.
Exit with Confidence
Plan your exit beforehand – pack your things calmly and deliberately, not in a frenzy. Shake hands, turn and walk out confidently. If the door was closed when you entered, close it when you leave.
Whether you are conscious of your body language or not it, how you present yourself influences people’s perception of you even before the conversation starts. What you don’t do can be just as crucial as what you do.
Research shows that the first 15 seconds of an interview are vital”
Don’t Forget your Grooming
In most occupations it is considered appropriate to either be clean shaven or have facial hair professionally groomed (especially men). While a beard or moustache may be part of your personal style, it is a sign of respect for both yourself and your potential employer to be neat and tidy.
Don’t be Disorganised
Never overfill your briefcase or folder. It will make you look disorganised. The bigger or thicker your luggage, the less authority you project.
Check your Posture
If you have a choice, never sit on a low sofa that sinks so low it makes you look like a giant pair of legs topped by a small head – if necessary, sit upright on the edge so you can control your body language and gestures.
Avoid talking for long periods. High-status individuals communicate effectively in short, clear sentences, so don’t talk endlessly. This is particularly important in a phone interview as all the interviewer can judge you on is what you’re saying.
Make Space for the Shake
Where possible, never shake hands directly across a desk. Step to the left of a rectangular desk as you approach to avoid being given a palm-down handshake, which would immediately put you in a ‘one-down’ position.