Something so little as a slouched posture can decide someone’s fate of getting their dream job. But is that how it should be? Most bad body language happens when people are stressed and uncomfortable, and these feelings come out during a job interview. Is it right to base your first impression on someone’s body language during an interview? Most of the time that’s not how the candidates act all the time. So, why is body language so impactful?
Let’s break it down first: What is body language?
Body language, or nonverbal communication, is not about what you’re saying but about how you say it and what your body is doing while talking. Body language is a way to better your conversation by using your facial expressions, hand gesticulation, and posture in your favor.
Some examples of body language:
Eye contact is a very controversial thing and a matter of opinion. In some countries, constant eye contact is rude while in in others it shows politeness and good manners. Some may think that too much eye contact is intimidating and consider it staring, which we all know is a very ill-mannered thing to do. Eye contact also exhibits interest, honesty, and confidence. So how much eye contact is enough and how much is too little? It’s a delicate subject but during an interview, keep enough eye contact and keep it consistent. If you’ve been making great eye contact the entire interview then start blinking or fidgeting with your eyes, that is a sign of nervousness.
Slouching is never a good thing. Not only is it bad for your back, but it shows a lack of interest and respect for your interviewer. Remain upright and lean forward, this shows that you are engrossed in the conversation. Just like other types of body language, you can overdo it. Don’t get too close, everyone needs their own personal space.
Fidgeting is a major sign of nervousness. Whether if it’s picking at your nails, constantly touching your hair, or shaking your legs, the interviewer will get the sign that you’re uncomfortable. So, keep your hands placed on your lap and cross your legs so you don’t get the urge to twitch.
Have you practiced your handshakes with a friend before your interview? You should. Do you know when a handshake is too much versus when it’s too little? The limp handshake can be just as detrimental as the cutting-off-your-circulation handshake. Have all your items in your left hand so you’re prepared to shake someone’s hand. If you have sweaty palms, go for a subtle wipe of your hand on the side of your pants before shaking so you don’t give a clammy handshake.
Smile! Giving someone a smile puts them at ease and conveys a sense of calm, control and confidence. Smiling also reveals enthusiasm for the position and the company.
Body language can make or break you during interviews, even if you aren’t a fidgety person in your daily life. There are many ways you can positively express yourself through nonverbal communication, which can bump you up in the position standings. So, keep eye contact, sit up straight, and give them that million-dollar smile!