Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it?” And have you ever thought about your body language during an interview, and what it’s saying about you? The way you sit, stand, and wear can be as important as what you say in an interview.
One more thing to worry about? Don’t fret—we’re here to help you! Here are five tips to help you make sure you’re sending the right non-verbal signals to your interviewers:
1. Pull Yourself Together
You need to make a great first impression, so have them at hello by projecting confidence. First, be ready before you meet anyone. Don’t be seen straightening your tie or readjusting your blouse. And your mother and grandmother were right–good posture is important. If you slump, you send the message that the interview – and position – are not important to you and you are disinterest in the process. Stand up straight, make eye contact and give a firm handshake.
2. Sit Right
Again, mind your posture and don’t slouch. Show your interviewer that you are interested in what they are saying by being attentive and acknowledging your interest by having good posture. Also remember the other advice you probably grew up with: don’t fidget! Don’t rock in your chair, shake your foot, drum your fingers or fiddle with your hair. And sitting with your legs too far apart or your arms folded across your chest are absolute no-nos.
3. See What Others See
There may be a big difference between how you think you’re presenting yourself and how you really are. How can you find out? Ask a friend or family member to watch you during a conversation to see if they can spot any distracting gestures or movements. Or, record yourself in a mock interview with a tablet or smartphone. Listen to the recording and analyze how you did; you may find out things you didn’t know about the way you communicate.
4. Show Passion
This doesn’t mean you should get worked up. It means you should show interest and pride in your achievements, and curiosity with your questions. Tell your anecdotes like you’re telling a story, and try to help the interviewer relive your experiences with you. In other words, don’t be monotonous and just recite facts. And whenever possible, maintain eye contact without appearing that you’re trying to stare your interviewer down.
5. Say Good-Bye Gracefully
When you walk out of the room, you want to leave a lasting good impression. Give your interviewer another firm handshake, eye contact and a smile, then wait until you’re well out of sight to loosen your tie, check your phone or even breathe a sigh of relief.
Want more interview tips? Just ask the professionals at Smith Hanley. We work with our candidates to make sure they’re always putting their best foot forward!