How To Improve Your Body Language And Ace That Interview!
Face-to-face communication is becoming more difficult to master. The digital world is pretty quickly taking precedence over our interactions in person. Unfortunately, most of today’s job interviews don’t take place on WhatsApp, and the skills you’ll need to succeed are probably quite different to the ones you’re using for the majority of the day.
You’ll no doubt be judged by what you say in an interview, but your interviewer will have formed opinions about you before you’ve had a chance to utter a word. Humans are good at telling when body language is consistent to the words being spoken, whether consciously or not. So it’s important to perfect how you appear in these high-stakes situations.
Undoing years of learned habits is difficult but not impossible. Whether for an internship or for a job, these tips should make the interview process far easier for you.
An excellent way to reduce nervous feelings for an interview, or most other things, is to prepare beforehand. It’s a good idea to practice your routine with friends and family, and even with yourself in the mirror, where you can pay closer attention to how your body appears whilst you speak.
What are your mannerisms like in social situations, and how are you coming across to the people around you? See something that needs improving? Get to work. After all, practice makes perfect.
People’s opinions of you are largely dictated by the first impression you leave them with (most of them are made in the first seven seconds of your interaction!). If you arrive early, are well dressed and equipped with a smile, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour.
Your posture is a good indication of your mindset. Confident people tend to sit with their backs straight, and carry themselves with good body posture. Are you slouching when you walk or sit?
A good posture proves confidence and assertiveness, but also that you’re calm. Body language experts suggest that open hand gestures at the height of the belly are the optimum signals of self-confidence. Doing these things should make you feel more confident, too.
Engage your interviewer directly
Maintain steady eye contact with whomever you’re speaking to. It’s a good way to demonstrate you’re interested, focused, and open to a response. 60 – 70% eye contact is an ideal amount when speaking, and a little more than that when speaking should work in your favour.
Curb nervous habits
It’s a given that you’re going to be a little nervous before and during your interview. Behaviours that exude anxiety include fiddling with your hair, clicking a pen, and making too obvious a show of checking your watch.
These all communicate disinterest and a lack of focus, and will signal to your potential employer that you may not be the right candidate for the job. You probably won’t be able to curb all your nervous behaviours, but one thing you definitely can do is balance them with positive ones.
Display positivity and energy
Remember that interviewers are assessing you as a potential colleague, so it’s up to you to prove you’re a fun person to spend 8 hours a day with.
A good way to appear enthusiastic when you talk is to use your hands to emphasise the points you make. Maintaining regular eye contact is another good habit, although be sure you don’t stare for too long! If you can sit straight, look a person in the eye and breathe evenly—you’ll have won half the battle.
Use these tools to project a positive and dynamic presence during interviews, and take note of how your interviewers are behaving. Do they appear kind and attentive, or are they bored and disengaged? Get good at reading non-verbal cues, let this information shape your own responses, and dazzle your future employer to bag your dream job.
Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs London, visit their website.