Your body language and the way you carry yourself has a significant impact on an interviewers perception of you. While preparing for common interview questions is a great way to boost confidence and help you clearly and concisely demonstrate how qualified you are; this is only one part of ensuring a successful interview.
You may have planned for even the toughest of questions but if your body language isn’t right, it can send the wrong signals, distracting hiring managers from your fantastic answers and capability for the job. This is why you need to be self-aware and present yourself in a way that appears confident, yet friendly and engaging. It might sound like a tricky balance to master without the use of words, but once you know what behaviours can influence perceptions, it’s a lot easier to guarantee a good first impression. Simply be aware of these body language tips from the moment you greet your potential employer and you’ll do great!
Sit up straight to display yourself as confident and self-assured. If you hunch over and clasp your hands, you can come across as nervous and timid. While lounging back in your chair, can give off the impression of arrogance or disinterest. Therefore, you should keep your back straight and lean forward slightly when conversing with your interviewer, as this will portray you as an attentive and engaged candidate.
Quick body language tips: If you naturally slouch, just visualise that there is a string attached to the crown of your head and it is pulling you up towards the ceiling. This should help improve your posture.
Using your hands too much, playing with your hair or touching your face can make you appear unprofessional and disingenuous. Equally, wiggling your leg, shifting in your seat or wringing your hands can make you appear extremely unconfident and anxious. While nerves are natural and expected in an interview, looking too nervous and restless risks displaying you as unfit for the job.
Quick body language tips: If you’re unsure what to do with your hands, fold them together and place them in your lap for a neutral and calm appearance. But be conscious not to tightly clasp them together as this gesture invites a sense of anxiety and fear.
Do use your hands
While this may seem contradictory to our previous point, it’s important that you don’t sit stoically in your seat with little to no movement. Find the balance between a natural amount of movement and not fidgeting. If you become too rigid in an attempt to avoid fidgeting, not only will this seem unnatural and slightly strange, it may also make you appear indifferent.
Don’t cross your arms
You should avoid crossing your arms as this can put an unconscious barrier between yourself and the interview. It can give the impression that you are closed-off and defensive.
Quick body language tips: As already suggested above, if you have a habit of crossing your arms, try instead to place your hands in your lap or on the edge of the table to demonstrate that you are self-assured and composed.
Do smile and make eye contact
Smiling and making eye contact with your interviewer is essential to convey you as confident and engaged in the conversation. If you constantly avoid eye contact this can portray you as insecure and untrustworthy. However, don’t make the mistake of constant eye contact. It may sound obvious, but for those who struggle to naturally make eye contact, in an attempt to overcome this, they risk staring at their interviewer, which can be unnerving. So be sure to occasionally look away.
Looking for your next career move? Kingsley Hamilton People can help. We are a boutique recruitment agency, specialising in placing candidates for permanent and temporary roles across Accountancy & Finance, Legal, and Business Support. Talk to one of our expert recruitment consultants today on 020 7078 0213 or fill out the short form here, and someone will get in touch with you very soon.