Job interviews are really exhilarating and can take its toll even on the most seasoned person. Not only do recruiters scrutinize the smallest details on your resume, but they keep an eye out for behavioural aspects, including body language. You would not want to mess up in front of them at any cost. A professional resume may get you an interview call, but it is your performance in the interview which decides your career’s fate.
Take heed of the following body language tips before you enter the interview room. It will help you to get through the interview without being highlighted for the wrong reasons.
Lean Your Back Straight Against the Chair
When you are asked to sit down, sit firmly and lean your back against the chair. But don’t make the mistake of slouching backwards. You may rest your back against the chair as long you maintain a straight posture. It is very important to maintain a straight posture and remain attentive to everything that is going around you.
Avoid Direct Eye Contact
Never ever make direct eye contact with the interviewer. This is one of the most common mistakes that people tend to make and in the process, they kill their chances of making a good impression on the recruiter. You might be staring directly at the recruiter with an aim of looking interested and engaged in the conversation.
Sadly, it would bring the wrong outcomes. A good way to achieve the desired impact in an effective manner would be to look different parts of someone’s face every two seconds, rotating from eyes, to nose, to lips. This way, you won’t be drilling into the eyes of the recruiter which could make them uncomfortable.
Use Hand Gestures
You should always try to include some hand gestures while speaking. While excessive use of gestures is definitely not preferred by anyone, the appropriate amount might just tilt the case in your favour. People usually avoid showing their hands because it reveals their anxiety levels and if the interviewer is able to detect this, then your chances of getting selected would decrease. Keeping your hands hidden can be misinterpreted as distrustful behaviour.
Even Dr. Paul Ekman (an American psychologist who is a pioneer in the study of emotions and their relation to facial expression) has explained that using hands while talking is a way of “illustrating” your points. These “illustrators” are indications that the information being shared by the person is true and free from corruptions. So the next time you appear for an interview, make sure that you use your hands and express yourself more freely.
Keep Your Palms Exposed
Keeping your palms open and facing upward indicates honesty and engagement. Closed hands or unexposed palms triggers a natural response in us which makes us rather uncomfortable. This is a result of our survival instincts which have remained with us despite the evolution of humans to the smart life forms of today. In simple words, just keep your palm open and well in sight of the interviewer. But don’t give the impression that you are begging for the job as it would be too awkward.
Keep Your Feet Firmly on the Ground
When appearing for personal interviews, always make sure that your feet are firmly planted on the ground. If scientific inference were to be believed, then it’s difficult to answer highly complex questions unless both of your feet are on the ground. I would not go into the technical terminology which explains this particular activity. A simple explanation would be that keeping your feet firmly on the ground helps in moving between creative thought process and highly complex rational thought process easily.
Be Wary of Your Gait
Did you know that your career’s fate is decided (more than often) within just 10 seconds of meeting you? If that shocked you, then your mind will be blown away with the fact that your gait forms an important part of this initial assessment carried out by recruiters. When walking into the interview room, keep your shoulders pulled back, neck elongated, and maintain a gap of 1 – 2 feet between each stride. As you enter the room, make a quick analysis of the surrounding before walking towards the person you are meeting. Make sure that you are pointed towards his direction and maintain direct eye contact with occasional breaks to avoid over-imposing yourself.
Control Your Breathing
It is normal for any person to feel nervous during an interview. Focus on your breathing as it will help you to keep calm. Experts suggest that candidates should always speak on the exhale. Controlling your breathing could give you the crucial time gap needed to think upon the interviewer’s question and then answering it will confidence.
Nod While Listening
While engaging in a conversation with the interviewer, it is important to nod every once in a while to show that you are interested in the conversation and the interviewer has your full attention. It is also a sign that indicates your comprehension of the subject being discussed.