We communicate to others in three different ways – through the words we say, through they way we say what we say, and through our body language. And of those three forms of communication, most studies state that body language makes up more than half of our total communication. The way we say what we is the second largest portion of our communication and what we actually say comes in third with smallest portion.
With body language being such a large part of how we communicate, it is important to do what we can to have good job interview body language. In order to determine what exactly job interview body language should be, we need to determine what message we want to convey. Below are some general qualities that are good to communicate during an interview:
Works well with others
Some body language that can communicate these qualities is outlined below:
Eye contact: focus on maintaining good eye contact throughout the interview. This will show that you are very attentive, honest, confident, interested, and trainable.
Good posture: good posture display confidence and strength.
Firm handshake: Begin and end the meeting with a firm handshake. This will display confidence, assertiveness, and good ability to communicate.
Nodding: Nod throughout the interview as the interviewer speaks. This will display that you are attentive, communicate well, and are interested in what is being discussed.
Smiling: With all of the nerves and stress during an interview process, it can be easy to forget to smile. Try to have a big smile for sure at the beginning and end of the meeting when you shake hands. Also try to smile when appropriate throughout the meeting. Throughout the rest of the meeting, you can maintain a semi-smile and smile with your eyes. Doing this will display that you are friendly, get along with others, and are interested in the job.
Just as there is good job interview body language, there is also bad job interview body language. Examples of qualities that you do not want the interview to see in you could be some of the below.
Some body language that can convey these qualities that you may want to avoid are listed below.
Leaning in toward the interviewer: By not having good posture and leaning in toward the interviewer, you can risk displaying weakness
Breaking eye contact: Avoid breaking eye contact with the interviewer and looking away frequently. This can create concerns in the area of honesty, whether justified or not.
Being fidgety: Avoid being fidgety with your hands, feet, and mannerisms. This can display nervousness. While nervousness during an interview is understandable and acceptable, eliminating fidgeting can help you to look more confident yielding more positive results.
Slouching: Sit up straight versus slouching in your seat. Slouching can display that you are relaxed and lazy which cannot be presenting you in the best light.
With body language being such a large part of your total communication, making these subtle changes and adjustments can have dramatic results. With interviewing sometimes coming down to gut decisions, good job interview body language could possibly be the difference that puts you ahead of the competition.
Michael Halper has a passion for coaching individuals toward personal and professional development. For more information about coaching and development visit Compass Coaching you can read more about Good Job Interview Body Language or Career Coaching.