How you present yourself in an interview is just as important as what you say, so it’s vital you are aware of the different ways in which interviewers will be reviewing you. While it’s important to prepare what you will talk about and how you can explain your skills and experiences in the best way, take some time before your interview to think about the way you hold yourself because body language is a huge factor.
We’ve put together this post to help you learn some key tips on how you can carry yourself professionally and confidently through your body language so you can give off the right first impression in your interview.
1. Start off with a handshake
This is a small start but something that should always be included in an interview. It’s the very first kind of interaction you’ll have with your interviewer so make a good impression by going in for a firm handshake. You may find that most interviewers will instigate a handshake but by getting in there first you are showing that you are friendly and you have confidence. Interviewers will like this because it’s a polite and positive way to introduce yourself.
2. Maintain a good level of eye contact
The trick with eye contact is to find the right balance. Don’t spend the entire interview looking in another direction but also, don’t stare at your interviewer persistently throughout. Looking away can make you seem uninterested in what’s going on and the interviewer may feel as though you are not taking the interview seriously. On the other hand, constant eye contact can make the interviewer feel a little anxious and intimidated. If there is more than one colleague interviewing you, make sure you switch your eye contact between them to help the conversation flow more naturally.
3. Think about your posture
Slouching back into your chair is another sign that you’re not taking the interview seriously and that you’re not really showing an interest in the job and what the interviewer has to say. Something as simple as sitting upright and maintaining good posture is a good way to show your interviewer that you’re engaged and ready to start your interview. It’s also a sign of maturity, intelligence, confidence and credibility. The whole point of your interview is to make your interviewer fully aware of your interest in the job and that you’re eager to learn more about it. Your posture is a huge part of this so make it count.
4. Lean in from time to time
Just because you’re encouraged to have good posture in an interview doesn’t mean you have to sit like a robot throughout. By leaning in occasionally you’re showing your interviewer you are alert and engaged. Maintain a good distance between you and the interviewer so you’re not invading their personal space but alter your movement ever so slightly so you are demonstrating that you are focused and paying full attention to the interview. It’ll give off a relaxed yet professional manner and the interviewer will feel much more at ease undoubtedly.
5. Try not to fidget
If you’ve got a bad habit for being restless, it can be quite hard to keep under control. But, for the purpose of your interview, make a conscious effort to refrain from anything that may be a distraction such as hair twirling, nail biting, leg tapping etc. Doing these habits frequently during your interview may cause the interviewer to focus more on them rather than what you’re actually saying. It will also highlight your nerves and can generally be considered impolite.
6. Be calm when you exit
Your interview might be over but you should still be in interview-mode until you part ways with the interviewer. Gather your belongings in a calm manner and smile as you get up out of your chair. You’ll usually find that most interviewers will ask you general questions such as ‘what are you doing this weekend?’ or ‘do you have any plans for the rest of the day?’ to avoid any awkward silences. This will help you feel more relaxed as you leave and encourages natural conversation. Make sure you end your interview in the same way as you began it, with a good handshake. Thank your interviewer for taking the time to meet you and wish them a good day.