How does your body language make the first impression as you step inside the interview room affect the outcome of the interview?
Based on your body language, an interviewer may know whether you are confident or not, if you are the shy type or the friendly type, if you are a loner or a team player, or even if you are telling the truth or not. They can tell if you are capable of handling the job, if you are devoted, or if you’re someone who can get along with other employees. Based on their questions, the interviewer will not only pay attention to what you say, but also on how you say it. The interviewer generally will find responses from you that match their qualifications. How you can decode the body language of your interviewer in relation to your own body language will determine the thin line if you get that job or not.
This is the most important aspect of the job interview – arriving on time. The job interview is deemed as a very important appointment, and being late is a cardinal crime with gravity that may cause you to lose that job opportunity. Your attitude regarding time will send the wrong messages to the employer, and will tell a lot about your lack of professionalism. Being stuck in traffic is a very lame and downright unforgivable excuse. It is better to be early by one hour than to be a minute late.
The First Encounter
When the interviewer comes to the room to meet you, do not offer your hand for a handshake unless the interviewer offers his hand. Shake hands firmly, but do not squeeze. Maintain eye contact.
Proper Body Posture
Body posture is important during job interviews and you can adopt the following stance. At the beginning of the interview, sit up straight in your chair, with your back leaning against the back of the chair. Do not slouch or move sideways in your chair because it might be perceived by the interviewer as a lack of interest or boredom. On the other hand, sitting on the edge of your chair can impart a message that you are a little nervous and that you feel uneasy with the situation.
When the interviewer says something, it is advisable to lean forward a little. This shows interest and attention in what the interviewer is saying. You can tilt your head a little to show that you are listening closely.
Do not cross your arms because this might be perceived as a defensive move. Just place your hands loosely on your lap or just put them on the armrest of your chair. By doing this, you will also be able to make hand movements to support what you are saying.
While speaking, you may nod your head occasionally to expound on a subject or to give more meaning to what you are saying. Hand movements can also help to spice up the conversation. The interviewer would think that you are comfortable with the interview process if you make hand gestures.
Too much hand movements at the beginning of the interview may not be a good idea. The proper way is to add them gradually throughout the interview.
Be aware of your interviewer’s hand movements as well. If they use their hands a lot to make a point or to clarify something, you can do the same thing as well. When they don’t make many movements, do the same thing as them. It is important to adjust your gestures to that of the interviewer to establish rapport.
Be alert to unintentional gestures that you may make sometimes due to tension. Some of the acts that may irritate the interviewer could include:
• Tapping your fingers across the desk.
• Shuffling your feet.
• Biting your nails.
• Toying with a pen.
Article is extracted from Body Language Secrets for Power and Love – Power-Tech International, Inc.