Monday, November 18, 2019

What will your body language tell the interviewer?


How you present at interview is so important. But have you thought about how your body language will either support or kill your chances of securing the job?

Being given an interview is exciting and your preparation starts straight away ? what you will wear, how you will get there, researching the company, study your resume and rehearse the interview questions.

Very few candidates actually stop and think about body language.

We all know that first impressions count. When you first meet your interviewer you want to be brimming with confidence: a great big smile, firm handshake and an audible ?nice to meet you? whilst looking into the interviewer?s eyes. Imagine if you met an interviewer with a tiny little voice which screams ?timid?, a limp handshake and someone who looked at the floor or muttered into their shoulder when they spoke ? not a good impression and it wouldn?t fill you with confidence about their ability to interview you fairly.

You?ve worked hard to get to interview stage, so put some real thought and preparation into your body language. There is no better way to prepare than to practise. Stand in front of the mirror and see what you look like. Silly as it seems, it?s a great way of finding out how others see you. Video yourself (enlist the help of a friend if necessary), but you need to watch the way in which you present yourself and your message.

Must Read:?Tips To Create a Sense of Oneness Within Your Team.

Body language is not just the physical aspects, it is also your voice. How do you project message? Do you have an audible voice? (notice your pitch and tone) Painful as it can be, record yourself and then listen back ? a great way of modifying your voice. Sometimes when people concentrate on an answer, as happens in interviews, their voice drops down a few notches. Hearing this in yourself and being aware of it can help you overcome the problem at interview.

When I first started recruiting I was amazed at the number of people I interviewed with poor body language. I could never understand how, after working so hard for an interview, they could blow their chances in this way.

One candidate, a lovely woman with an impressive background and the skills my client sought appeared to be the ?perfect? candidate on paper. At interview though, she seemed to shrink into herself. Whenever I asked her about an achievement or situation she had handled she crept back in the chair, went red, cocked her head to the side and lowered her voice when answering. These were her achievements ? she should have owned them, been proud of them, expanded on them and confidently spoken about them!

Other people give you gruff one-word answers or direct you back to their resume, ?Well, it?s all in there if you look at page 2?. I am sure it is a symptom of nerves for most people, but irrespective of the reason, it doesn?t impress interviewers and most certainly doesn?t present you in the best light.

So, how do you make sure your body language is appropriate for an interview?

Body language don?ts

  • Don?t keep your hands in your pockets.
  • Never cross your arms ? it makes you look defensive.
  • Don?t hold your handbag/briefcase or portfolio in your lap ? it makes you look like you?re ready to bolt!
  • No slouching ? sit up straight and tall.
  • Never look away from the interviewer when answering questions or when they are talking to you ? maintain eye contact.
  • Fidgeting such as shaking your leg or tapping your foot or drumming your nails on the desk is annoying and distracting.
  • Staring at the wall or floor ? nothing screams disinterest more!
  • Relax to the point of appearing blas? ? leaning back in the chair in a relaxed manner more suited to the lounge at home, or resting your head on your hand with an elbow on the chair.
  • Don?t rub your nose every time you make a point ? some say it is a sign of deceit.
  • Never lean on the desk and towards your interviewer ? it invades their space.

Body language is relatively easy to control. Simply being mindful of it can help enormously.

Have a think about your last interview ? do you recognise any of the above points?

Next time you have an interview put your best foot forward, a strong confident voice, loads of eye contact and a professional presentation, to give yourself every chance of being offered the role.

This article is contributed by Michelle Lopez of One2One Resumes.



? Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant


Jappreet Sethi

Jappreet Sethi
I am a HR & Business Strategy professional with experience of leading HR & People Consulting practice of multinational professional services firms. I specialize in designing & delivering dynamic learning experiences in service of human development. I have over a decade of experience across various facets of HR and Process Consulting. I am a Six-Sigma Black Belt along with a certification in using Lean for process improvement. I am also a certified user for psychometric instruments like MBTI, FIRO, CPI & Saville Consulting Suite; I am among the few in India who specialize in using Art and Drama for Leadership Development and Personal Counseling. I have been rated twice as one of the Top 100 employee engagement experts in the world by a New York Times bestselling author.

Related posts

You Have Been Given Three Months To Improve, What To Do?

First of all, be glad that you have been given a chance to improve. Most...

200 Plus HR Interview Questions & Answers For Top MNC

Are you attending a job interview and  you are worried on how to give a...

You Believe You Are In The Wrong Role, How To Shift Departments?

There are times when in spite of being into a job for months or even...

You Are Planning To Settle Abroad, Should You Inform Your Manager?

Settling abroad is indeed an opportunity that a lot of people eagerly await. However, while...

Share this post

Most popular

Tips To Build Your Resume

Do you feel that your present job is going nowhere? Do you yearn to spread...

9 Biggest Mistakes To Avoid In Your Resume

Here are 9 of the biggest mistakes to avoid in your resume, not?correcting?them will instantly...

Career Mistakes you need to avoid

Careers are fragile and small mistakes done repeatedly can chip away any edge that you have built painstakingly. Building a career is like running a marathon , where you need to be in the race for the longer haul and each step counts.

How To Be Happy In Life And Career – The Zen Way

Can you be happy in life and career at the same time; in today?s world...

A Career Blooper Is Not “The End”

Career bloopers can come in many colors, may be you have been passed over for...