So you’re on the search for a new career opportunity and preparing to go crush your next job interview. Well, one key factor that shouldn’t be ignored ahead of your interview is body language. Your body language is a crucial factor in any important meeting, but especially during a job interview.
While all of your answers during an interview can be strong, if your body language is off it can cause you to come off as insecure, unprofessional, or even arrogant. The last thing you want to do is give off the wrong message before you even get the job sis.
Body language makes up most of our physical conversations. Prof. Albert Mehrabian of the University of California conducted a study in the late 1960s that found 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken.
When considering how much fewer millennials are having face-to-face conversations in comparison to previous generations, we could use a friendly reminder on the importance of body language. Below are a few tips on body language that you can take with you for your next big job interview.
Firm Handshake Initiated By You
A firm and confident handshake is the first introduction of yourself (aside from what you’re wearing). However, keep in mind that you should be the one to initiate the handshake. Don’t wait for the interviewer to initiate the handshake. Show your level of confidence from the start by offering a firm handshake to get the interview started off.
Avoid giving off weak or soft handshakes. They can give off the impression that you feel uncertain about the job or interview. Also, avoid shaking their hand too hard. Squeezing their hand might give off the vibe that you are trying to hide some form of insecurity or that you are too aggressive.
Maintain Eye Contact
It is very important to maintain eye contact during an interview. Keeping a steady friendly smile on your face while remaining in constant eye contact with the interviewer is ideal. Wandering eyes during a conversation come off as rude, unprofessional and give the sense that you are insecure, dishonest, or even arrogant.
When the interviewer is speaking you should be looking directly at them, and while you’re speaking you should also give strong eye contact. It is okay to allow small pauses to avoid giving off the creepy stare. But you should maintain eye contact throughout the interview.
Your posture should be on point during an interview sis. No slouching, no wiggling or fidgeting, and absolutely do not swivel around in the chair! Poor body language sends the message that you’re careless or too nonchalant, and those are two qualities that will make you NOT get the job.
Sit up straight throughout the interview and keep your back up against your chair. Avoid leaning forward, it can also come off as arrogant or too aggressive. Proper posture shows self-control, which is a key characteristic you want to show off during an interview.
Use Your Hands to Emphasize A Story
We tend to play with our hands when we’re nervous. But you want to avoid coming off fidgety during an interview. Never cross your arms (duh), but you can use your arms and hands to help emphasize your story.
When you aren’t speaking, try to keep your hands in your lap or on the table. You can fold your hands, but avoid looking like your squeezing your hands together. That’s just weird.
Make A Strong Entrance And Smooth Exit
The interview begins as soon as you enter the building. You never know if the receptionist was asked to watch how you wait to meet with your interviewer. Make sure your entrance is solid and friendly.
Your exit is also just as important. Remain positive and optimistic and avoid showing any signs of insecurity or worry about if you think you got the job or not. Smile and nod, and give another firm farewell handshake to the interviewer before leaving. Be sure to say farewell to the person sitting at the front desk as well.
Don’t Look at Your Phone
This goes without saying. But your phone should stay inside your bag during the entire interview. The interviewer should never even have the chance to see what your phone looks like.
There’s nothing worse than your phone going off during an interview, so make sure it remains on silent. The last thing you want is for the interviewer to hear your “Bitch Better Have My Money” ringtone while you’re explaining why you’re a good fit for the job.
Avoid Sweaty Palms
If you’re someone who suffers from sweaty palms make sure to hydrate yourself before and during an interview. Most interviewers or receptionists offer you a beverage ahead of the interview. Always opt for water and keep yourself refreshed. Avoid clenching your firsts or balling your hands up so they can stay in contact with the air that will keep them dry.
If you do get sweaty hands during your interview, stay lowkey and dry them off on your knees or on the sides of the chair (below the interviewer's point of view). Clammy hands give off the impression that you are nervous or uncertain, which are two things you don’t want the interviewer to think about you.
Nod At Everything the Interviewer Says
You want to show that you’re attentive and understand what the interviewer is saying during a job interview. But nodding throughout the entire interview can come off as if you’re not sincere. Therefore, it is suggested to only nod when you agree with what the interviewer is saying. This shows that you understand what they’re saying and are inviting them to continue talking. So avoid nodding too much because no one is trying to hire a bobblehead sis.
Cross Your Legs
This isn’t the “Devil Wears Prada” and you are not Meryl Streep sis. Do not cross your legs at all during a job interview. Most interview experts do NOT recommend crossing your legs during an interview. It comes off as fidgety or nonchalant, and that is the wrong message to give someone considering you for a job.
Fidget or Touch Yourself Too Much
As we mentioned before, try not to fidget or touch yourself too much during an interview. Fidgeting gives the impression that you are extremely nervous or not feeling confident. If you are someone who has the natural tendency to touch parts of your body, don’t allow your natural reflexes to creep up during an interview.
Nail biting, crossed legs/arms, playing with your hair or nails, it can all come off as unprofessional and show signs of insecurity. If you really want the job, avoid letting your bad habits show.
Body language is crucial during your conversations, but especially important during an interview. If you want the job, remain confident (but not too confident), maintain eye contact and a friendly smile, speak clearly, and avoid nodding too much. Use these helpful Do’s and Don’ts on body language during your next interview and they will help you possibly get hired.
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