Interviews are all about communication. Our success during the interview depends on how we speak, our tone, grammar, and, most importantly, our mannerisms and gestures. Besides spending hours reading about the company, the industry, the interviewer, and the role to ace the interview is good, you should also set aside time to improve your body language and communication.
Because we are unaware of how we appear to others, it can be challenging to read our non-verbal cues. That’s why you should get familiar with nonverbal signs to look out for, ask a family member or friend to conduct an interview and be painfully honest about your body posture, demeanor, and mannerisms. You can even ask them to record you so that you can see what you’re doing wrong. You can concentrate on enhancing your body language once you are aware of that.
Here are some non-verbal cues you can avoid to ace your future interviews:
Don’t Fidget Too Much
We know some interviews can be terrifying and cause a lot of anxiety while you’re waiting to be interviewed. In such circumstances, we often fidget and shift nervously in place as a coping mechanism for stress. It can manifest as constant leg jiggling, big and elaborate hand gestures, and twisting fingers.
If you’ve ever sat beside someone who constantly jiggles their legs, you’d know how annoying and distracting it is. And the last thing you want to do is to distract your interviewers. To avoid fidgeting, place your feet firmly on the ground, and channel all your nervous energy into your posture and thinking about answering the interviewer’s question you spent hours preparing for.
Don’t Nod Too Much
We all want to seem agreeable and keen on the interviewer’s views, advice, and information. However, constant nodding is not the best to communicate your agreeability. It’ll make you seem too eager to please. Therefore, try and keep your head still as possible. If you listen attentively, you won’t need to nod as much. And if you want to agree with their statement, you can simply say so and thank them for adding to your knowledge.
Don’t Touch Your Face And Hair
Touching the face and hair is part of our self-comforting mechanism when we’re stressed and nervous. It may feel self-soothing at the time. However, it appears quite bad in person and is unhygienic because you’d have shaken the interviewer’s hand upon greeting them. And who knows where their hands have been? Therefore, consciously avoid touching your face during the interview.
Also, if you have long hair, wear it elegantly and neatly to avoid playing with it during the interview.
Don’t Be Too Serious
Although it’s normal to want the interviewers to take you seriously, you shouldn’t appear so stoic throughout the interview. You want to show that you want the job. So, be sure to convey to the interviewers your enthusiasm for the position and the chance to work for the company through your words and body language.
Try to smile slightly often when discussing something you’re passionate about, and use a bright and lofty tone to express your views. If you speak in a drone and stoic manner, it’ll portray that you’re uninterested in the role and spouting facts verbatim without enthusiasm about your current and aspiring role.
Don’t Cross Your Arms
If you’re concerned about gesticulating too much during the interview, crossing your arms will seem like a good idea to keep your hands and gestures under control. However, this isn’t going to help your case. Crossing your arms puts you in a defensive mode and comes across as inhibited and avoidant body language to the other person.
If you want to minimize your hand gestures, lightly clasp your fingers or your hands in your lap. It’ll give you a sense of control and keep your hands out of the way.
Your posture is everything when it comes to non-verbal cues. So, don’t slouch in your chair. Instead, sit up straight. If you slouch, you’ll seem either utterly disinterested or overly confident. However, if you sit at the edge of the seat while leaning forward, you’ll seem like an eager school pupil.
Therefore, sit in a neutral position in the chair with your back and head straight. However, don’t sit so rigidly that your body language becomes stiff.
Don’t Stare Too Hard
Maintaining eye contact with the interviewer is a good idea, but it’s not necessary to fix your gaze on them the entire time. It gives off a creepy vibe and can make your interviewer uncomfortable. Instead, try to listen more. It’ll naturally encourage eye contact.
You can quickly glance somewhere to break eye contact and to show that you’re actively reflecting on the interviewer’s word and then maintain it again to show continued or renewed interest. Try to make eye contact with each interviewer for a few seconds if there are two or more.
Don’t Squeeze Too Hard When You Shake Hands
A handshake is often your first interaction with the interviewer and might help set a positive tone for the interview. If you want to make a good first impression during the interview, gently shake your interviewer’s hand; avoid squeezing their hands too hard. It will make you seem haughty and overbearing. Don’t shake hands with a weak grip either. It might make you seem insecure.
Matching the firmness of your interviewer’s handshake is the key to a great handshake. If they’re sensible professionals, they won’t overdo the handshake, and its strength will lie somewhere between a death-crushing grip and a limp leaf.
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