People often underestimate the importance of good body language in an interview whether it’s a job interview, MBA interview etc.
The correct posture and non-verbal messages you give in an interview are of up-most importance.
In this article I am going to take you through seven main points that will help you achieve the correct body language techniques.
1. Prepare It sounds obvious to be prepared but it is also often overlooked. There are a few ways you can prepare, read some books about interview techniques, speak to people who have been interviewed, practice answering typical interview questions with a friend or colleague. Remember that you want to be natural, comfortable and confident during the interview.
2. Purpose The moment you walk into the room your interview starts so be purposeful and strong from the beginning. Walk in tall and with a natural friendly smile. Your hands should be free at your sides, not in pockets. Also be ready to offer your hand. Your handshake should be confident, strong and firm, only pump your hand once or twice and then release. If your handshake is weak or too strong (bone crushing) this will leave a negative impression. Practice shaking hands before your interview.
The interviewer will probably ask you to take a seat, if not use the seat across from him or her (ask if it is alright first). When you sit down, use the whole chair. Don’t sit on the edge you will look nervous and uncomfortable.
3. Posture Remember when you sit down, use the whole chair. Don’t sit on the edge you will look nervous and uncomfortable. If there are arms on the chair lightly rest your hands on them. If not then place your hands on your legs. Don’t cross or open your legs, place them parallel with your shoulders.
Sit with a straight back and don’t cross your arms. If you cross your legs, hands or arms you are effectively pushing the interviewer away.
4. Listen You need to be an active listener during the interview, do this by paying attention. Don’t look at the walls or out the window give all your attention to the interviewer. Don’t stare but maintain eye contact. You can also lean forward, nod and smile when appropriate.
When answering a question feel free to use your hands to gesture but don’t overdo it. If you are being interviewed by a panel pay most attention to the person who asked the question but don’t ignore everyone else. Try to make eye contact with everyone.
5. Cool Don’t fidget or look at your watch, keep still. If you lose your concentration when answering a question, take a deep breath and continue. If you have lost your thought then ask if you can begin your answer again.
6. Read Of course you want the interviewer to pay attention to you as well. If you feel that you are losing their attention then ask them a question or try to remember the last time you had them engaged and return to that subject.
7. Confident Whether you thought you performed well or not the end of your interview is an essential time. Finish with confidence, a good firm handshake, thank them for the opportunity and smile. Maybe their just having a bad day, their unhappy mood might have nothing to do with you.
Whatever the outcome of your interview make sure you learn from it. Ask yourself what you did right and wrong – be honest.
Have a look at my earlier article ‘How to Answer Interview Questions Effectively’ to help you answer interview questions effectively.
If you have an upcoming interview I hope this has helped you and wish you all the best.
By Liam Lusk. I hope you enjoy my articles here. The articles I post will offer tips on increasing your English ability. Here is a little information about me, I have been teaching communication English, business skills and presentation skills in South Korea for 8 years now. Before coming to South Korea I worked in the theatre industry in London for 14 years. Check my linked in page for more info.Also feel free to visit my blogs: