Poor body language can derail an interview regardless of how confident and well-spoken you are. Body language is as much a part of your communication style as what you say verbally – it’s really about how you say it. Impressions are made within seconds of reviewing body language. Body language is very important, it is even more contributive to the outcome of your interview than your confidence and expressiveness. Body language is words not heard but seen. You will agree with me that impressions are so quickly installed via body languages.
Let us take a practical approach now in establishing this truth. Let us take the scenario of the handshake. This is to be the first exercise in an interview, you would share a handshake with your interview. This interview is very informative speaking volumes of your unsaid personality. As brief as it might take; the interview could deliberately read you from the firmness of your shake as well as your eye contact!
If your handshake is not reasonably dominant and being expressly weak even shying away from eye-contact, it could present you as this insecure person; even lacking confidence. And then an overtly strong handshake and an uninterrupted eye contact may present you possibly as the pompous and overconfident type. This would now place the right dosage of importance on body language. Let us a take look at some:
You could sit or stand in an interview, the physical manner you go about both is loaded with messages to be inferred. When you slump, it could be seen as a deficiency in your confidence. And then when you sit too straight and too stiff, it could be read that you are possibility swimming in nervousness and this may distort the conversation unconsciously. When you sit on the tip of the chair, it could suggest there is somewhere else you prefer being at the moment. When you lie on the back if the chair with ankle sitting on your knees- this has an unprofessional appearance as it could seem you are too relaxed. Should you cross your legs and arms, it could be you are building barriers.
To transmit confidence without overstepping the boundaries of professionalism, ensuring smoothness in conversation, sit with your lower back touching or close to the back panel, while trying to maintain a possible lean of 10 degrees forward. Make sure to relax your hands in your lap while keeping your feet to the floor. And when you stand, don’t put your hands in your pocket nor cross your arms. It may seem a brochure of protocols here b it the essence is trying to present a posture that is balanced in all positive regards both to mannerism and professionalism.
A combination of speed, pitch and tone is emphatic. When you talk too fast, this may portend nervousness. And when you are talking too slow kind of an apologetic manner, it brings in the notion of lack of confidence. Both could introduce unwanted hitches in communication. Try to regularly make variations to your pitch and tone, if you don’t, it is possible you could sound monotone possibly boring out your audience.
So it is important you master the exercise of controlling your voice. When you feel nervousness creeping up in you in bounds, relax yourself before speaking else it would spill into your pitch Learn to take control of your voice. If you are nervous, it can come across in your pitch. Keep a watch and personal audience to your tone and pitch making calculated alterations to paint some points in emphasis.
Eye contact allows you and the interviewer to connect beyond words alone. However, there is a fine balance between good eye contact and when eye contact becomes a weird gaze or stare that can make the other person feel uncomfortable. When you stare without having breaks in between, a casual conversation can come across as a lecture.
Eye contact helps you speak more than your voice allows. You should try to fine-tune a cool balance between when a strange and discomfiting gaze and a calm eye engagement. When you listen, keep eye contact for say some eight seconds or that range of interval, break it consciously and restore it consequently. When you look down to take notes, make sure to occasionally look up so as to reach eye contact again when it seems a distinct point is being disseminated or a question is possibly thrown at you.
There is that evident tendency in some persons to nod and bobble their heads when they tend or denote agreement, but when it is excessively done, it exaggerates into a distraction as it could be inferred that you are doing such to please your interviews. If such unfitting notions are established, it is sure to bite your credibility. So don’t over bobble your head. You could nod carefully at occasions to show you are still in the conversation. Other means to this is tilting your head a little bit to the side as if you are attempting to listen more attentively to find details.
There is that category of persons immersed in the habits like flaring their arms while talking, playing with a pen in hand, some would twirl their hair, or even worse rock back and forth on a chair while shaking or thumping their feet solidly and even at times audibly. It is quite unfortunate that some of these actions are involuntary and may even happen without the performer’s discretion. But then they are sure to be noticed by your audience and this may seriously hamper the fluency of the conversation. Try as much as possible to be aware of what you have your hands doing in the immediate moment, same with your feet and legs; and then try as much control as you could exert on general movements.
Also try to pay details to your interviewer’s body language as this would possibly direct you hints on the the mode of response and interaction she is portraying. There are many instances where the interview process may begin with a very formal tone or setting but then with time, it is possible you guys might gain solid acquaintance and get more relaxed and free flowing.
Truth is there is no strict, all encompassing rule that extensively covers body language. So be sire or play far from any situation that could hit you with negative impressions. You could try to prepare even your body language by paying attention to your gestures even yje unconscious ones you make via a mirror act mapping out the approach of your introduction and general communication. Another very efficient means is to video record the full session. Make sure to look after problematics aspects of your general presentation before you get to your interview.
Wishing you big thumbs up success from here!