The following article summarises the top 10 ways to ensure that you show good interview body language. Make sure that all the preparation you do for a job interview isn't in vain. Your body language is key to job interview success.
The top 10 ways to improve your interview body language are as follows:
1) Eye Contact
There?s nothing more off-putting to an interviewer than the interviewee being unable to make regular, good, strong eye contact. The interviewer may think that because you're unable to do this, you either have something to hide or you may not have the conviction of your beliefs. If you're struggling to concentrate when looking straight into someone's eyes, then try looking in-between their eyes. They won't be able to tell that you'll looking straight into their eyes, but you'll find it easier to maintain focus. Try it with a friend first to see what I mean.
You need to practice a strong, sincere, smile. A good smile has the power to say, "I'm a happy, confident person and I'd love to work here". Try practicing smiling in a mirror. Practice a smile that puts people at ease. It's just as much your responsibility to ensure that there is a relaxed atmosphere during the interview. If you're embarrassed about your smile, see what a dentist can do about it. It might not cost too much to fix your teeth - and it will save you a lot of money if you get the job!
3) Open Body Language
Again, try practicing this with a friend first. Make sure that your legs are slightly apart if you're a gent. Place your hands apart, on your thighs is good. Open body language is even more important when the interviewer is talking. It demonstrates that you are receptive to the question and actively listening. Remember when you practice your body language with a friend to take a note of what to do with each part of your body. Unless you do that - and remember - you're leaving it to chance that your body language come across well at your job interview.
4) Don't slouch
It's easy to appear as if you slouch too much. This is especially prevalent if you're asked to site in a large, soft seat. Try not to appear too relaxed. Not sitting right back in the seat is a good idea. If you sit forward, it makes you look more attentive and more interested. Some people slouch because they're not very interested. Other people slouch because they have bad body language. Either way an interviewer isn't going to be too impressed. Try practicing in a mirror at home.
5) Don't be too erect
If you're too erect then you won't appear too relaxed. If an experienced interviewer is interviewing you then they might put this down to stage fright. They might just judge you on what you're saying rather than how uptight you appear. However, if you're interviewer isn't too experienced then they might not feel relaxed either because of your posturing. They could leave the interview with a feeling that you weren't as good as the other person simply because you were too erect. Try to relax? but not too much!
6) Make sure that your eyes sparkle
It’s all very well having good eye contact at your interview, but if
your eyes aren’t looking bright and interested then you’re making life
difficult for yourself! Make sure that you have a good night’s sleep
your interview. Remember – this is a very important day – you need to
look your best and have no bags under your eyes! If you want your eyes
to sparkle then it’s worthwhile getting some whitening eye drops. It
doesn’t cost much but it will work.
7) Be engaged
It’s important to be subtly positive at your job interview. You need
to demonstrate that you’re actively taking part in the interview. When
your interviewer is telling you about the job role and company, make
sure that you nod subtly. This shows that you are listening and are
interested in what they are saying. It shows that your are engaged in
the discussion process and want to be part of the organisation.
8) Breathe deeply
One of the best ways to relax before an important interview is to
breath deeply. If you breathe deeply, not only are you relaxing by
slowing your rapid, nervous heartbeat, you’re also ensuring that your
brain has as much oxygen as possible. This means that you’ll be able to
think clearly at your interview and be able to respond to difficult
questioning more rapidly. Breathing deeply before an interview will
provide you with the effective combination of being relaxed and alert
at the same time.
9) Accept an offer of a glass of water
You may not feel like a glass of water, but taking a sip from a
glass of water can have a calming effect on your interview performance.
It can give you an opportunity to collect your thoughts while
refreshing you. It will also give you a chance to get used to the
surroundings while the interviewer is out of the room getting the glass
of water. This will also give you’re the opportunity to gather your
thoughts and decide upon any amendments to your interview strategy as
well as reviewing your prepared responses to questions.
10) Practice your handshake
So many people haven’t got the right ‘professional’ handshake.
Remember that this is part of the first and last impression that you
leave at the interview. If you have a weak, limp handshake then this
tells the interviewer that you may not have the ability to deal with
confrontation. On the other hand, if your handshake is too strong, then
you may not be a good listener. You may be quite confident about
controlling a situation, but you may be less likely to be democratic in
approach. To demonstrate the happy medium, have a firm but not hard
grip, make good eye contact at the same time and mirror the style of
the person whose hand you are shaking.
In summary, mirroring is the key. If you’re able to subtly copy the
tonality of your interviewer’s body language, you’ll find it much more
easier to communicate because you’ll be speaking the same silent body
language. This will put you streets ahead of the competition in the
race for your dream job.
Short note about the author
David Bain is a consultant to http://www.UteachRecruitment.com - a specialist UK teacher jobs recruitment agency. U Teach Recruitment is based in Coatbridge, Scotland and brings schools and teachers together from all over the UK. Teaching opportunities include Geography teaching jobs.