Body language is just as important as saying the right things during an interview. What if, instead of walking confidently into the room, you sneaked in like a burglar? Or squared up to the hiring manager instead of shaking their hand? Or cowered in the corner whilst discussing your personal strengths?
Well, those examples may be a little facetious, but the underlying sentiment still stands. If you don’t present yourself well physically the things you say may not have as much of an impact.
To make sure you really look the part, below are some simple tips guaranteed to make you seem more employable – from your head right down to your toes.
Everyone knows it’s good to smile during an interview, but remember not to smile too much. You don’t want to look like a crazy person, and you also don’t want to seem fake or disingenuous. Every now and again, when discussing good examples of teamwork for example, think about how it made you feel and show real happiness in your expression.
Hunching is a terrible habit in general, but when we’re nervous it’s natural to want to lift your shoulders up or lean away from whatever we’re worried about – which in this instance would be the interviewer. Keep your shoulders relaxed and rolled back whilst facing the person you’re talking to. It makes you look engaged, confident and in control. If there are arm rests on the chair you’re sitting on, use them!
When sitting, the positioning of your knees can have a huge effect on how you’re perceived. If your legs are crossed you will appear insecure and standoffish. If your knees are far apart you will appear arrogant and overly confident (and that’s a definite no-no if you’re wearing a skirt or dress). Experts suggest keeping the knees close together, which will also help keep you focussed on what you’re saying.
Nervousness can be immediately detected in the feet. Tapping, leaning on your tiptoes and continually shifting position is not only distracting but an obvious sign that you feel uncomfortable. During the interview keep your feet flat on the floor and imagine they’ve been glued down. Of course, if you need to scratch or you have pins and needles feel free to move a little, but try to remain conscious of your movements.