How Body Language Increases Your Confidence in Job Interviews
Many people have a fear of job interviews, especially if they don’t know how to control their body language and gestures! Your body language can say a lot about you and can give the interviewer either a favorable or an unfavorable impression. For instance, if your body language exudes nervousness or a lack of confidence, this can negatively impact your interviewer’s opinion of you as a candidate. To help you be confident in job interviews with the use of body language techniques, here are a few tips that will make your interview journey much easier.
Shake hands and greet the interviewer well
When you enter the room and face the interviewer or panel of interviewers, make sure you greet all panel members well by saying greetings and thanking them for taking the time to interview you. Shaking hands as soon as you greet them will grant you more power and self-confidence. It also helps you seem more friendly and approachable. Be sure to also have a healthy posture and a firm grip as soon as you walk into the room to show your confidence.
Smiling is the key!
Nobody likes to see a grumpy face! Let the magic of your 1000-watt smile control the full session. If you start the interview with a smile, you are guaranteed to feel relieved. The interviewer, or panel member, will also feel more comfortable looking at your face and talking to you. You can always negotiate and express yourself with a kind smile. Remember that if you get the job, you will be working alongside the people who interview you, so you want to make yourself seem as engaging and friendly as possible.
Make sure to always maintain eye contact with the interviewer while they are talking to you. Though, you should avoid staring; a soft glance is more than enough. You do not want to make the interviewer feel uncomfortable or like they are under a microscope. To an extent, you should behave like you are meeting a potential friend for the first time. Make sure they know they have your full attention and that you are listening intently.
If you are being interviewed by a panel instead of an individual, don’t forget that you must keep a balanced eye contact with all panel members when it is your turn to speak instead of focusing on one person. As for when a panel member is speaking, you should focus your attention on them. There will always be one panel member who seems kinder than the others and focusing on them most of the time will help you feel more comfortable, self-confident and empowered. So, whenever you feel nervous or interview fear is setting in, you should look at that person to feel calmer.
Another tip to keep in mind when it comes to eye contact, is that it goes hand in hand with the rest of your facial and body expressions. Make sure that your face is relaxed when engaging in eye contact so that it doesn’t look like you are glaring. Check that you have a neutral, not a frowning, forehead when listening to others and paying close attention so that you look interested, not confused. Shift your body with the direction of your eye contact so that it doesn’t look like it is an effortless gesture or a ‘look down’ on someone.
Use hand gestures while speaking
The question I get asked the most is, ‘what should I do with my hands?!’ The best place, in my opinion, is to have them free on top of the table around you. If there is no table, you should place your hands on top of the arms of the chair you are sitting in, or fold them on top of your legs. While speaking, it is good to use your hands and move them while you are explaining as it makes you look more expressive, but be careful not to overact here as it can be distracting for the interviewer.
Likewise, avoid being to fidgety with your hands and objects that are in front of you, as that can show that you are either lacking confidence or lacking interest in the interview.
Nod your head when listening
Nodding of the head can differ in meaning from one culture to another. Nodding your head in most Arab countries means that you accept what you are hearing and that you are concentrating and following what the interviewer has to say in terms of requests, questions and information. This is a very useful tool that indicates to the interviewer that you are focused and have a genuine interest in the company and position. It also improves the interview flow and smoothens the back and forth between you and the interviewer(s).
Don’t overdo or exaggerate your body language
Make it spontaneous! Avoid overacting in the interview by only focusing on body language. You want to seem as natural as possible. Blatantly pretending to be interested, happy, or confident can put you in trouble and counter the impression you are trying to make.
Also remember that it is all about practicing even when it comes to body language and how it can be used during interviews. Going to many interviews and observing will allow you to understand and master the art of body language. This will make it a useful tool in helping you get the job.
You can also practice your potential questions and answers in front of a friend or a mirror and see what type of body language you have and how expressive you seem to be.
As a last piece of advice and after reading this article, don’t forget to smile and maintain your positivity as your search for jobs and build your career.