When it comes to your interview, your body language is just as important as the words you say. Up to 70 percent of communication is nonverbal. Your nonverbal communication includes the tone of your voice, your posture and hand gestures. If your nonverbal communication does not match up with your words, it could end up ruining your interview. To land a new job, use these body language tips.
Start With Your Posture
You immediately reveal aspects of your character before you enter the room. Your posture speaks volumes about how confident and assertive you are. One of the best body language tips is to focus on how you stand. You should have a confident stance with your shoulders back and head up.
If you must wait for your interviewer, focus on how you are sitting. Do not tuck your chin into your chest or slump your shoulders. You should sit with your shoulders back and your back straight. This shows that you are assertive and immediately makes a first impression with your interviewer. When it is time to shake hands, be firm, smile and make eye contact. Be careful, though. An excessively strong grip and an overly weak grip both signal negative traits, so find the perfect medium.
During Your Interview
Once your interview starts, make sure to make eye contact with the interviewer. You need to find the right balance between too much and too little eye contact. Too much eye contact seems aggressive and makes the interviewer uncomfortable. Too little eye contact can make you seem shifty or untrustworthy. Make eye contact while you listen and answer questions, but then let your eyes wander every once in a while.
One of the best body language tips is to stop fidgeting. Nervous habits like biting your nails or twirling your hair seems unprofessional. If you do talk with your hands, do not worry too much about it. Trying to stop your natural hand gestures will only make you seem awkward. Do not cross your arms; place items on your lap or cross your legs. This can make you appear defensive or in need of self-protection. In an interview, your goal is to always convey confidence.
To show that you are interested, lean in from time to time. This shows that you are engaged in the interview. Keep in mind that personal space is about 20 inches from the person. When you lean in, avoid breaking the 20-inch barrier because it could make the interviewer feel uncomfortable. Subtly mirroring your interviewers posture, sitting position or gesture can also convey agreement and admiration.
Using Body Language for Phone Calls
Surprisingly, body language tips still work for phone interviews. While the interviewer cannot see you standing up straight, they can actually hear it in your voice. When you act more confident, your voice and mannerisms follow suit. In a similar fashion, smiling will make your voice naturally sound more positive. As you talk on the phone, avoid fidgeting because this can make sounds that interfere with the interview. Basically, you can use the same interviewing tips on the phone as you do with an in-person interview.