It’s important to prepare carefully for a job interview. This includes wearing appropriate attire, as well as being polite, respectful and knowledgeable while conversing with your interviewer. However, even the most prepared candidate can lower their chances of a successful meeting if their body language is blatantly anxious or otherwise off-putting. Interview jitters are normal, but they don’t have to be a part of the way you present yourself. Here are some tips to communicate comfortably and effectively with your body language.
- Start the interview with a confident handshake.
The handshake will likely be the only moment of physical contact during your interview; therefore, it’s essential that it’s a firm and confident move, as handshakes play an important role in first impressions. As you shake your interviewer’s hand, make eye contact, greet them with a nod and smile.
- Sit all the way back in your seat.
No slouching! Sitting with your hips aligned with the back of your seat will encourage upright positioning, making you appear more attentive and confident. It will help you feel more confident, too! If you’re offered a choice in seating, opt for a straight-backed chair; it’s easier to sit gracefully this way, as opposed to sitting in a comfy, cushioned couch.
- Use your hands.
Do you talk with your hands? If so, continue! Keeping your palms open-faced suggests honesty and openness, and touching your fingertips together gives an appearance of authority. However, try not to give into nervous tics such as nail biting and knuckle cracking – these give off an air of anxiety and will not help your interviewer feel at ease when speaking with you.
- Show off your personality with a smile.
When appropriate, nod, smile and laugh – show your emotions (professionally). This will help you show your personality, as well as your interest in what your interviewer is saying. Focus on keeping your smile soft and voice polite, even and at an appropriate volume. If your voice is too soft, you’ll seem timid. If it is too loud, you’ll seem imposing.
- Mirror your interviewer.
If your interviewer is modeling positive body language, subtly mirror it. Using their body language as a point of reference for your own can help you establish an unspoken common ground with them. Try not to be too bold and overly mimicking with this though – you don’t want to alarm them.
Overall, do your best to keep your focus on the conversation. Maintaining confident posture and positive, receptive body language will help your interviewer feel at ease with you – this is something they will remember!