Interviews are all about conveying the perfect message. You want to convince your potential employer that you are confident, capable and the best person for the job. Of course that means preparing great answers for common questions.
But studies have shown that the words we say account for as little as 7% of our overall message. Our tone of voice equates to another 38%. But a staggering 55% of our communication comes from our body language. So to make your message as effective as possible, here are 7 simple tips to improve your interview body language.
Sit Up Straight
This is true both in the waiting room and the interview room as you may be being observed by future colleagues. If offered a choice, opt for straight backed chairs and sit all the way back in you seat. This will stop you from slouching and give off an immediate impression of confidence.
Plant Your Feet
Experts recommend not crossing your legs. Not only could it lead to discomfort but could also come across as fidgety. But there are more practical benefits to planting your feet too. A solid foundation can also help you switch between the limbic and neocortex sections of your brain, meaning you can hop more easily between creative thought and rationality.
Go Easy on the Eye Contact
Eye contact is crucial to a good first impression. It gives off a sense of calm and composure and puts your interviewer at ease. Use it sparingly however. Too much eye contact can come across as aggressive so try switching your focus to different parts of the face every few seconds. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with breaking eye contact every now and then.
Use Your Hands
Many of us can feel awkward and uncomfortable in an interview and our hands are a dead giveaway. But crossing your arms or burying them in your lap can make you appear on edge or even untrustworthy. Gesticulating your points with hand gestures can make you seem more passionate and creative. In fact, showing your open palms is an age old way of encouraging trust and positivity.
Nod Your Head
Our answers are important but being able to listen to responses is just as key. In an interview, active listening demonstrates excellent communication skills. Nodding your head is a great way to appear attentive and engaged.
Though maintaining good posture is important, leaning in is a natural way to show you are intrigued by a conversation. Select a few choice moments to lean in slightly to demonstrate your interest. A slight head tilt is another way to show engagement.
Walk the Walk
Your walk is often the first thing a potential employer will notice. Some studies suggest you have just 7 seconds to make a great first impression and a strong walk is the perfect place to start. So push your shoulders back and elongate your neck. Imagine resting a teacup on top of your head. This small change will alter your whole body and give you a natural air of confidence and composure.