Body language tells us more than we want it to. Speaking is only a small portion of what we’re actually telling other people about ourselves and what we do. During an interview it’s not all about what you are saying in your responses, but also how you are saying it and how your body is reacting to the situation.
Body language is something you can’t perfect, but it is something you can practice and understand better so it becomes second nature to act a certain way in different situations. Interviewing can be stressful, which will show in your body language if you let it. Here are some great tips to practice and to remember during your next job interview.
1) Your Hands Are The Window to Your Career
So what exactly does that mean? You don’t often think of your hands as being important, but during a job interview, they are almost critical. It all begins with the handshake. Be sure to initiate the first handshake to introduce yourself and while you do, learn to give a firm handshake that shows you mean business. It is also important to avoid having sweaty hands. During the interview, keep your hands still when listening. It helps to cross your fingers together and place on your lap to keep them still. It is appropriate, however to use your hands and arms when speaking. Hand gestures help explain a story and showing your palm is a way of showing your comfort during the interview.
2) Your Eyes Speak The Truth
Eye contact is a way we let someone know we are listening and understanding. Of course if you end up staring too intently at them it can become either intimidating, scary or you could look a little glazed over. Simply try and keep eye contact when listening to a question and answering, but don’t force the contact or stare directly, try and be as natural as possible.
3) Posture Can Make or Break You
Sitting up straight and all the way back in your chair gives your body a lift and shows your confidence. When we feel taller, we feel more confident and it shows to the employer. Another great way to keep your posture perfect is by keeping your feet planted on the ground. Don’t sit cross legged if possible, simply keep your feet together firmly on the ground and it will prevent you from fidgeting too much and will allow you remain still and straight. Nothing shows you’re confident more than perfect posture.
4) Don’t Forget To Breathe
Obviously we have to breathe to survive, but never underestimate the importance of a good deep breath. It can clear your mind and help improve your speech. Try taking a deep breath in before answering a question on the exhale out wards. You won’t lose your breathe while talking and you focus on your answer clearly. Breathing can also help with stress. You don’t want to hide your stress too much because it could explode at any point, but try and work with your stress by calmly breathing properly.
5) Try Not to Touch Yourself Too Much
This sounds a little strange, but we humans have a tendency to touch ourselves when we feel anxious. This is everything from constantly twirling your hair between your fingers or tucking it behind your ears, or touching your neck a lot when you’re thinking. We also bite our nails, touch our lips, scratch our skin, or touch our ears. It’s a habit we all tend to do, so be sure to keep your arms and hands planted firmly on your lap and avoid the urge to fidget.