Job interviews are your opportunity to communicate to the prospective employer why they should hire you. During a face to face job interview, you want your spoken words to match your unspoken words. And gestures and facial expressions can say a lot. Your overall presentation, which includes your body mannerisms, can be just as important as the verbal answers you give during your face to face job interview.
If you want your body to say:
1. “I am interested…” Lean forward a little with your head slightly tilted when the interviewer is speaking, particularly about the company, the job description and duties. This can show the interviewer that you are ‘physically’ listening and interested in what is being said. This is also an opportunity to show you know the importance of your listening skills and using your 2 ears over your 1 mouth.
2. “I am comfortable…” Have a genuine smile. A fake, plastered on smile just won’t do. Imagine how good you will feel your first day on the job or after receiving your first check. That is the smile you want to convey during your face to face job interview.
3. “I am trustworthy…” Maintain good eye contact. It is an opportunity to establish trust with the job interviewer. But, be careful to avoid intense eye contact. Instead, aim to maintain eye contact about 75% of the time.
4. “I am happy for this opportunity and I appreciate your time…” Give a firm hand shake at the start of the interview and at the end of the interview, if your culture allows. Think of your handshake as a piece of uncooked spaghetti, as opposed to a wet noodle.
5. “I am alive and energetic…” Use hand gestures to express yourself . But only to bring home certain points or for emphasis. Don’t overdo it. You don’t want to look like a spastic chicken.
6. “I am confident, prepared and alert…” Sit up straight with your shoulders back . Do not sit with your arms folded across your chest or with your hands. Instead you want to exhibit a an ‘open’ posture. Sit still and do not fidget. You do not want to make your interviewer sea-sick.
Your self- awareness of your job interview body language can be uncovered through the practice of your nonverbal communication skills prior to your next job interview. You can practice in the mirror, with a friend or family member or video tape yourself to see how you will really come across to the job interviewer.