Body language is important as you don’t know what your face might be saying behind your back. Check out this video and article by Kaja to see how your body language can ace that interview for you.
Interviews are terrifying, full stop. So if you want to be as prepared as possible before you go into that office room to face the three Fates and have your qualifications and credibility’s extracted from you painfully. But something you may not have considered in your preparation panic is your body language….
Body language is very important as you don’t know what your face might be saying behind your back. When using your body language wisely, you can look more engaged, enthusiastic, and like the perfect candidate for the job.
I have talked to Lori, a lovely person and an ace charity consultant and oral history documenter, who has both interviewed people and been interviewed many, many times over her career. Through the years she has noticed the different things people have said with their bodies in interviews without realising, and how to turn this into something positive. This is what she told me.
1. Smile. Try to smile whilst your talking as this helps you to look and sound more enthusiastic and relaxed.
2. Maintain eye contact. This is all about finding the right balance, as you don’t want to stare at them too intently. Make sure you blink and occasionally look away to give the interviewer space.
3. Often you might be interviewed by multiple people, so when this happens try and evenly look at them, don’t ignore anyone. Look first the at one asking the question and then distribute your looks evenly.
4. Leaning forward and gesturing with your hands helps you look animated, but don’t wave your hands about too much.
5. Be open with your body and try and relax, if you cross your arms then you may look closed off and grumpy.
6. Seeming relaxed and comfortable is important, and one of the things that can help in this is relaxing your shoulders. Make sure they’re not hunched – “get your shoulders out of your ears”.
7. When listening to someone, nodding and smiling can be good but if you listen more seriously then that’s fine as long as you maintain eye contact to show you are engaging with the interviewer, don’t stare at the floor.
8. There are theories about mimicking other people’s body language and how this can build a better rapport with them, these theories are to do with neuro-linguistic programming if you want to look them up. So if you want to mimic the interviewers body language, especially if you’re unsure of how to act, then that’s fine but don’t copy everything they do.
9. In interviews you’re very likely to feel stressed which might be reflected in your body language. The way to get around this, which you may not have realised, is by relaxing your hands. Often when we’re stressed we ball up our firsts, which makes us more tense. When your hands are relaxed and open it’s easier to release that tension and continue on your roll of positivity.
If you want to see all this demonstrated in a visual way, have a look at this body language video Kaja’s been working on, below…
Have you got any tips for how to ace that interview? Tell us below.