After sending out your C.V. and cover letter to countless applicants, you’ve finally heard back from a few of them and have some interviews lined up. While you should spend plenty of time practicing your responses to typical questions you’ll receive as well as plan what you should wear, you also need to consider body language and eye contact. No matter how impressive your C.V., if you look around the whole room during the interview, slouch, and give a limp handshake, you probably won’t be called in for a second interview.
To prevent such an end, it helps to understand which are the best body language expressions to convey during an interview and which to avoid. First, as mentioned, you need to make eye contact. You shouldn’t stare at your interviewer the whole time, but keep your eyes on them when they’re speaking to you and when you reply. Avoid taking a mental tour through the room.
Next, you should use your hands too. Don’t just keep them folded in your lap the whole interview. If you’re passionate about the job you’re pursuing and your background, speak emphatically and use hand gestures. Of course, you don’t need to move your hands with every word you say. Keep the gestures to a minimum to really underline your point.
You’ll probably be seated during your interview, so it’s important that you sit up straight and don’t slump. Proper posture conveys a sense of confidence, and you need all of the confidence you can get going into a job interview. While you practice answering interview questions before the big day, spend some time practising your posture as well. You don’t want to appear too rigid and stilted, but rather sit up naturally straight.
As mentioned, a limp, dead-fish handshake will not make a great opening or closing impression. Before your interview, find a family member or friend to practice your handshake on. It should be confident as well with a sturdy grip. However, you should not squeeze the person’s hand while shaking it. Don’t keep the handshake going for too long as well to avoid any awkwardness.
By following these tips for better body language, you should be able to ace the interview and get a second one.