We all hold our bodies and behave in certain ways depending on the situation we are in, the way in which we do so can tell a lot about us as people.
We almost automatically know that certain gestures and poses, for example, would be frowned upon at an interview: leaning back in the chair, folding arms behind our heads, slouching on the table, curling up in the chair like we do at home on the couch!
It is also not a coincidence that some of the most powerful people in the World hold their bodies in strong and powerful poses with open body language, exposing their chest and engaging hand gestures. Many, like Steve Jobs were trained in the skill of command and power speaking and are living proof that your body language could change your career.
Interview is one of the very basics in the job landing process and perhaps the only way to make “an impression” (apart from your CV) with the interviewer. How you perform in an interview would decide (to a great measure) whether you land a job or not.
The measure of performance can be embedded in how well you answer the queries raised by the interviewing team to the choice of words in answering the questions and how you physically present yourself (the body language).
Body language is one of the main physical factors that an interviewer would focus on here are some of the Do’s and Don’ts of body language in an interview:
Your first impression would be generated as soon as you walk into the interview venue. Just walk in confidently and don’t show any signs of nervousness (even if you are).
A shake hand indicates a lot more than just an opening gesture. Too firm a handshake can indicate desperation and too soft a handshake would indicate lack of spirit or nervousness. Just a normal handshake with a limited holding time would indicate a level headed candidate
Your sitting posture must be straight (but not stiff) or slight front leaning. Keep your legs shaking in check (while keeping them straight).
Keep your eye contact with the interviewer (without giving a feeling of a stare). You can occasionally look around but maintaining an eye contact is a sure sign of a confident future employee.
Smiles win hearts everywhere and an interview is no different. An occasional smile applied sensibly can have a winning effect on the interviewer and indicative of your confidence and lively nature. It would give you a much needed boost as well (but too many smiles can be counterproductive).
Watch your hands during the interview. Make those hand gestures that indicate your confidence. Try to keep your fingers crossed rather than waving them too often.
One important aspect of body language in a conversation is to pay attention to the other person’s body language as much as you pay attention to yours. One technique that works is to mirror what they do. If they cross their arms, cross yours. Use their body language to steer yours. Again, this makes someone take notice of your body language and allows you to change theirs by changing yours.
Too much show of confidence is usually taken for arrogance and no one likes to hire arrogant employees. Keep your confidence display in check towards positivity and never display your confidence in excess.
A weak or hasty handshake can produce a negative first impression. Always try to be as normal in your handshake as possible. The guide can be the handshake of your interviewer. Just shake it as much as the interviewer does (still not very hard even if he or she does).
Never ever slouch in the chair or your sitting posture (crossing your legs and arms is also indicative of an “uninterested” behavior). Sit straight with your back touching the chair.
Maintaining a positive eye contact is an absolute essential but taking it “too far” is an absolute “must avoid”. Never stare at your interviewer and blink naturally to avoid being frightening.
Avoid playing with any object, your fingers or with the button of your shirt. It is the most visible sign of nervousness and indicative of your lack of confidence.