Answering job interview questions is not the only thing that can make or break your chances of landing that job. Your body language plays a huge role during interviews from eye contact to posture. Even the way you fix your hair.
During job interviews, employers are looking at all your nonverbal cues to make sure that you show the right amount of professionalism and the correct match for the company and position. Most of the time, interviewers know within 5 minutes of the interview if the candidate is the right person and fit.
Body language can speak volumes to hiring managers about a candidate’s confidence, enthusiasm and professionalism.
There are a variety of body language mistakes you can avoid if you are aware of them prior to entering into your interview. Here are few mistakes you can avoid:
Be aware of your posture – Always aim for a neutral position. Leaning back is lazy or arrogant, leaning forward is aggressive.
Keep good eye contact – Eye contact can be uncomfortable at times but important to establish without staring.
Avoid using too many hand gestures – This can cut up the space between you and your interviewer in an aggressive way.
Do not play with something on the table – Interviewers are most put off by interviewees who play with whatever object is on the table in front of them during the job interview.
Do not cross your arms – Crossing your arms is a sure sign of defensiveness and resistance. Open arms makes you more approachable.
Avoid playing with your hair or touching your face – Twirling the hair is a cue of innocence. Women often employ hair twirling as a way to flirt. Touching our nose, our lips, and our forehead, but these all imply that we’re either nervous or dishonest.
Take what you need to interview – Go to the interview with everything you need in one suitcase or bag. If you’re playing a balancing act with pens, organizers, your cell phone, resumes, and other paraphernalia, you look ill-at-ease, clumsy, and unprepared.
Be aware of personal space – This is a tough one but often sitting or leaning too close to the interviewer can come across as too forward and ultimately distract the interviewer from what you are saying. Be aware of the space between yourself and interviewer.
Avoid excessive nodding – It is okay to nod once or twice with a smile of agreement but try find your still center and hold that position.
Avoid frowning when answering questions – Interviewers can ask some difficult questions to assess your ability to cope with challenge and stress. The natural instinct is to frown. Take a moment and ask interviewer to to clarify or reword the question which will give you time to compose yourself and answer.
Do not fidget – Fidgeting will not only distract your interviewer but also expose your nervous energy.
Position your hands correctly – Always appear approachable and open so don’t try to control gestures or fidgeting by keeping your hands still. Keeping your hands behind your back or in your pockets, restricts movement makes you appear stiff.
Match your expressions – Always be sure to match your tome and facial expression. Any mismatch can destroy your chances of landing the job.
Avoid shifty eyes – Distracted eye movement or upward movement are tell tale signs that someone is lying. Direct eye contact are signs of confidence and certainty.
Have a good handshake – A handshake is the unspoken word that initiates a conversation in almost any social or professional get-together. A handshake reveals something about you, your personality and the first impression that you give off.