Body language combines with the verbal communication to create the whole impression about you during the interviews , since body language would convey feeling that words can’t. Therefore, you should always expect that the recruiters will take your body language during interviews under consideration; hence, you need to give it some attention.
If you are expecting an interview soon, let us inform you of some tips and tricks of how to use your body language to your advantage to pass the interview and get the job successfully.
What is body language?
Body language is the set of expressions, movements, or body postures that express your feelings, through which the interviewer can understand what you are thinking or feeling. You may also use body language to introduce yourself during interviews and express who you are.
For example, you may have come across one or more situations where you could understand what someone wants to convey to you only through their body language.
Body language is often subconscious, meaning that you do it unconsciously. Still, with knowledge and practice, you can control it and use it to your advantage, whether in job interviews or otherwise.
Why is body language in interviews critical?
You might wonder why to take care of your body language in interviews. However, it’s a fact that body language significantly impacts how the interviewer will judge you as a candidate for the job role.
Body gestures and facial expressions, which represent body language during interviews , acts as a guide of how someone feels. For example, some postures would express nervousness and low self-esteem, while others would convey confidence and openness.
The recruiters often use their knowledge of body language to understand how the interviewee feels or perhaps more about their personality and skills during interviews.
How to use body language during interviews ?
Here are the top practices you need to consider regarding body language during interviews if you want to ace your following job interview and convince the interviewer of your viability.
1. How to use your hands during an interview:
Handshakes tell a lot!
You should shake hands with the interviewer – if you would like to – once you enter the room. It’s one aspect of body language during interviews that you need to consider.
However, make sure the handshake is not too firm, not too friendly; try to find a middle way, though. It also should not last for more than a couple of seconds.
Also, you need to avoid shaking hands while your hands are sweaty or trembling. It would help if you calmed yourself down before going inside the room.
Make them visible
In case you’re sitting at a table during the interview, make sure to put your hands on the table to make them visible for the interviewer. This could indicate that you are open to talk and you don’t have anything to hide.
Meanwhile, if you are sitting in a chair during the interview, it’s recommended that you put both hands on your laps again to make them visible. And make sure that one of your palms – at least – is open.
Use your hands while talking
This is one of the top common usages of body language during interviews . Especially if you are one of those people who like to use their hands while talking, keep doing this during the interview,
It’s a positive sign of your engagement within the discussion, and it might also indicate your self-confidence.
However, try to avoid using hand gestures in a way that would distract the interviewer.
2. How to use your eyes during the interview:
This classic rule is one of the vital ways to use your body language during interviews to your advantage. Maintaining eye contact is a sign of your interest, confidence and understanding.
Avoid staring though!
Maintaining eye contact does not mean you should keep staring at the interviewer all time long. Consider shifting your eye every once and while in order not to seem aggressive or creepy!
3. How to use body postures during interviews?
Sit up straight
It would be best if you were sitting upright during the interview. Slouching is a big sign you’re less confident. If you usually bow unconsciously, try practicing some exercising or techniques to help you regain the proper posture before the interview.
Another sign of low confidence or stress is restlessness. Excessive arms or legs movement could leave a negative impact on the interviewer. As it might indicate, you are bored, not interested, or anxious.
You also need to avoid biting your fingernails, knuckle cracking, excessively playing with your hair, tapping on your lap, etc.
Especially if you are sitting on a table, try leaning your body forward every now and then. It’s a vital sign of you being engaged and interested.
4. How to use your arms during the interview?
Open your arms
One direct indication of your self-esteem and confidence is opening your arms. It’s one of the usages of body language during interviews that never fails.
Consider keeping your arms open while talking or listening to the interviewer to convey your confidence and willingness to have this interview.
Avoid arms crossing
You should avoid crossing arms while talking, as this might be a sign of low confidence, boredom or may act as a desire to end the conversation. Crossing your fingers can do the same thing also.
5. How to use your legs during interviews?
Keep your legs still during the interview. Try not to move them until it’s finished. However, you might change your position every once in a while to stay comfortable.
It’s also advisable not to cross your legs, as this might make you feel uncomfortable, leading you to move excessively, which is not recommended during the interview.
Top practices to use your body language during interviews
Smile, but not too much!
You need to pay attention to smiling during the interview, as it might indicate lots of positive signs, of which the most prominent are openness and confidence. Moreover, a simple smile can break the ice between you and the interviewer.
However, exaggerating a smile, not to mention laughing out loud, may never make a positive impression, but it may make you look less professional.
In one study done by the psychology department in the North-Western University , it was noted that smiling – if used wrong during the interview – would leave a bad impression on the candidate.
It’s okay if you smiled at the beginning and the end of the interview, or you can only smile every now and then.
Choose a proper place to sit in
If you have given the chance to choose where to sit during the interview, then make it for your advantage.
Choose a comfortable place where you can focus only with the interviewer. For example, if the room is transparent, try to find a position that does not allow you to see what’s outside to avoid distraction.
Showing interest in talking with the person in charge is a sign of respect and understanding that gives a good impression about you.
You can demonstrate your care and interest simply by using facial gestures like nodding and making eye contact. In addition, some verbal affirmations, like “of course, I understand, I see, and sure” will serve the purpose.
Use body language before the interview also
Even before the interview starts, you can still use your body language to ease the way to yourself.
Simple movements like walking confidently, sitting up properly while waiting in the waiting room, entering the interview room quietly, etc., can affect how professional you are to the interviewer.
Practice active listening
One thing you need to give attention to is listening to the interviewer carefully. Don not let your nervousness hinder you from being all ears. This will allow you to show your respect and interest to the interviewer.
On the other hand, practicing active listening will help you find suitable answers for the given questions and give you some time to think about what you should say.
Things to avoid about body language in interviews
Some practices should be avoided during the personal interview, as they give a negative impression to the interviewer of lack of interest, lack of confidence, or other negative points.
These practices include:
- Excessively touching your face.
- Interrupting the interviewer.
- Distraction or lack of eye contact.
- Excessively playing with your hair.
- Invading the interviewer’s personal space.
- Crossing legs or arms.
- Leaning on the chair.
- Messing with something, for instance, pen or rings, in your hand or on the table.
The bottom line:
Paying attention to body language in interviews is complementary that increases your chances of passing the interview.
Remember that body movement, face gestures, and eye contact have a significant effect. It’s advisable to practice these tips with a colleague or family member to prepare for the following interview.