How important is body language during an interview?
You’ve applied for a position and have been selected for an interview… Congratulations! Now you have to prepare yourself for the next step to impress the hiring manager and get the job.
We all know that meeting hiring managers, either in the company office or by Skype, is considered as the most stressful part of the process. Many candidates are afraid of the interview process due to a simple lack of confidence.
Interacting with one person or more may be difficult for some people; for others it is not a problem. A common trait between these types of candidates… their body language. We all communicate in a nonverbal way, which represents a huge part of how the listener interprets what you’re saying
‘Paralanguage’ is the elements of speech which are not necessarily words, such as intonation, speaking speed, pauses/sighs and facial expressions, which are all natural reactions. Therefore, is it possible to master it to showcase professionalism in an interview and to gain confidence through gestures?
A few tips for your interview
- If you are going to meet the recruiter in person, the only physical contact you will have is a handshake. It has to be frank and firm, because it tells a lot about your personality. Ensure you come across with energy.
- When you sit, keep your back straight, avoid crossing your arms and legs and do not slouch like you may do on your sofa. It is not a dynamic attitude (and it can cause long-term damage). Whilst exchanging with the hiring manager, use your hands to emphasize your speech, but don’t be too enthusiastic. To help you control your gesture, take a pen so you are showing control or relax your hands by joining them together without showing a defensive or rejection attitude.
- Avoid touching your face and your hair: it can show dishonesty or a lack of confidence.
- Maintaining good eye contact and nodding are excellent factors of trust and interest. Without excess, smiling is essential to keep a good atmosphere.
At Annapurna, we use Hinterview to record video interviews with candidates, to showcase their skills and experience. Through a computer screen, the body language which is used gives exactly the same impression to the recruiter. Try to pay attention to your attitude which increases the focus on your communication skills and your competences, instead of raising awareness on your potential stressful and unconfident feelings.
Finally, good luck!