Body language can reveal a lot about an individual, and is one of the main aspects of a candidate that an interviewer will focus on. What we say accounts for about 7% of our overall communication, how we say it makes up 38%, and the remaining 55% is based on our body language.
A study has shown that nonverbal communication is about 4 times more influential than verbal communication, so awareness of your body language could make or break the interview. Our body language will always betray us and show the world how we are feeling, and learning to notice these cues is not too difficult. There are positive nonverbal cues that you can send during an interview to help the interview team view you favorably.
1. The handshake
36% of employers state that they would reject a candidate who has a poor handshake. This might seem like an archaic way of judging a person’s character, but a study that had 4 judges rate the handshakes of 112 people, found that they agreed whether a handshake was good or bad 92% of the time. The criteria for judging were strength, vigour, duration, eye contact, and completeness of grip, so practice with a friend and bear these in mind.
2. Eye contact
Avoiding eye contact can make you seem untrustworthy, while too much eye contact could make the interviewer uncomfortable. Make it clear that you are paying attention to the interviewer by looking at them and nodding, but do not stare. Strike a balance to avoid giving the impression that you are either lying or not paying attention.
Mirroring is an easy way to make sure that your tone matches that of the interviewer. After meeting the interviewer, take note of what they do with their body, hands, voice, head, and face. Use their actions as a guideline for how to act and speak, such as by slowing down your rate of speech. By letting them set the tone, you’re ensuring that you remain appropriate throughout the interview.
You can use the mirroring in any other situation in your life, when talking to you parents, friends or soul mate, in order to synchronize with them and make them agree with you or do something you want.
When you smile, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins send a message to your brain that makes you feel good, confident, satisfied. When you smile at someone, they tend to smile back at you – partially unconsciously and endorphins are released in their body, too. So, thanks to the endorphins, what their unconscious mind memorizes about you is “this person makes me feel good” – a great way to break the skepticism of a recruiter and make them trust you.
5. Don’t cross your limbs
Crossing your limbs, particularly your arms, can cause you to look closed off or hostile. Gesturing as you speak will make you come across as more natural and relaxed, while planting your feet firmly on the ground is said to help you switch between creative & logical thought.
6. Sit up straight
Posture is a primary factor in demonstrating authority. Slouching can come across as indifferent, so sit up straight.
Although the bulk of communication is nonverbal, you still need to be aware of how you speak. Your main goal is to prove that you can be professional, and that you know what you’re talking about. Don’t try too hard to sound fancy, and avoid using lots of buzzwords. Focus on the substance of what you’re saying instead of the words you use, but don’t forget that you’re talking to a potential boss. It is always better to err on the side of professionalism, even if the interview seems relaxed. In terms of tone, try to be friendly, natural, and confident.
The most important thing is to remain calm and confident. If you can do that, positive body language will come naturally.
Writen by Artemis Spiridou