Unspoken communication: don’t let your body betray you.
Your meticulously honed and polished C.V. has finally landed you that all important interview. As D-Day approaches, you spend yet more time reading about the company, researching the optimal answers to typical interview questions, and generally preparing yourself for the appointment.
There is, however, one crucial aspect of the interview that, while easily overlooked, is potentially the most important of all: your body language. How you carry yourself can subconsciously convey far more information than both your C.V. and all your well rehearsed replies.
By following another batch of Inspiring Top Tips, we can help you to spot these hidden tells and address them so that you can excel in your interview.
-among the most important communicative behaviours, and yet surprisingly tricky execute effectively. Little or no eye contact will hinder the development of a rapport with the interviewer and make you look untrustworthy, or as even as if you’re purposely avoiding the truth. You will also not be able to see the interviewer or gauge their expressions and responses to your statements, again hindering a dynamic conversation.
At the same time, too much eye contact can appear invasive or confrontational, and so you should avoid relentlessly staring into theirs. As with everything in life, a healthy balance between the two extremes should be sought.
Like eye contact, a dodgy posture can also make you appear untrustworthy. Hunched shoulders and drooping head can exude the impression that you have something to hide or that you otherwise lack self confidence; while a straight back and open shoulders, with your head held high will go a long way towards making you look more approachable, more confident and more honest.
Aside from conveying your chosen message, your voice will tell your interviewer a lot more about you that you may realise.
Rapid-fire talking can make the speaker appear desperate or over excited, while speaking too slowly or quietly may do the opposite; making you appear lazy or uninterested in the interviewer. Aim for a consistent pace of speech, and avoid too many over enthused alterations in the pitch or inflection of your voice.
If possible, give answers directly; while if you’re hesitant, pause for a moment.
Crossed arms and legs are indications of defensiveness and may impair the development of a relationship with the interviewer. Similarly, knuckles facing your subject can suggest aggression. Aim to keep your arms uncrossed, and try to show more palm than fist- much like the welcoming posture shown in many conventional representations of Jesus. Again, be careful not to overdo it as this will likely make you appear a bit strange.
Other things to be aware of include; not intruding on their personal space- keep a respectful distance; smiling after you make eye contact with them; and not fidgeting or excessively repositioning yourself.
Armed with the knowledge of how to avoid these simple communicative pitfalls, you’ll be much more likely to forge more meaningful a personal dialogue with the interviewer and therefore far more likely to leave the good impression necessary to secure the job.