Body Language – non verbal communication of Job Interviews :
While looking for a new job, we take extra care to choose all the right words while communicating with our prospective employers. However, we often forget about a critical piece that makes up for the majority of all interactions – non-verbal communication.
According to experts, non-verbal communication makes up for about 93% of all communication. Since most of us are not even aware of this fact, we simply do not use body language as a powerful tool. In fact, if our words are not mirrored by our body language, we will come across as fake to other parties.
Not just the interview room
An interview begins long before you enter the interview room. Someone could be passively judging you in the parking lot, elevator, waiting room and even wash room. Because of this, it is always advisable to have a confident and calm body language. For instance, frantically searching through your folder for your documents makes you look nervous. Be confident about yourself, and show it off by simply being calm, composed and collected.
Put up your best behavior
Many interviews ask the receptionists for their opinion of the people of came for interviews. Be aware of the fact that they are watching you, but do not let them know that you are aware! Put up your best behavior and try to be as co-operative as you can be.
You are being watched
While you are waiting for your turn, do not show signs of laziness, frustration or anything negative. Typically, hunching your shoulders is a sign that you are closed off, while flexing your legs or leaning back in your chair makes you look arrogant. Sit with your head straight, back upright, and chest open. This shows an aura of confidence and assertion about your behavior.
Take extra care while standing up from a seated position. Organize all your documents so that you do not look clumsy, and ensure not to drop stuff on the floor as you are getting up.
The all important handshake
Handshakes are a part and parcel of every human interaction, and more so during interviews. There are various theories regarding the perfect handshake, some of which are downright contradicting. Don’t be overly aggressive or limp with your handshake. Also, do not cover the other person’s hand with your other hand – it can be interpreted as informal.
For the best handshake, have a complete grip and a firm (not too tight) squeeze with the right hand. Do not shake your hand too rigorously or for too long – typically, three “shakes” are said to be the best, lasting no longer than three seconds. Pair it up with a steady eye contact, and you have the perfect handshake!
Walking in to the interview room
The place to use your body language to the fullest is when you are walking in to the interview room. Typically, you will be asked to follow somebody to the interview room – stick to this instruction completely. This shows the interviewers that you follow protocol. Also, just like seating, your posture is also important as you stand or walk. The exact same rules of seating posture apply here as well.
In the hot seat
If you are carrying a briefcase or a handbag with you, place it by the side of your chair. Do not place it on the table or on your lap. Typically, you should only put a slim portfolio folder on the desk, and absolutely nothing on your lap.
Avoid leaning too far forward or backward. Instead, sit up straight with an open chest and an upright back. While it is a good idea to use hands for gesturing, do not go overboard with it. At all times, your hands should be in the space between your collarbone and your navel.
The right way of leaving
Departing is the final act of the interview, and in many cases, is as important as the interview itself. Gather all your things in a calm fashion, rise from your chair smoothly, shake hands with the interviewer(s), and don’t forget to smile! If there are more than 3 interviewers, shaking hands with everyone may not be convenient. In such cases, shake hands with the lead interviewer.
Just as you are being judged on your body language, even you may become a judge of the interviewers’ body language. However, it is advisable not to read too much into it, as most interviewers are trained not to give away too much with their body and facial expressions. So even if you feel that the interviewers’ response was not that great, do not let that affect your body language. The last thing you need is to give away a negative impression just as you are leaving the room!
Do you know more interesting rules for nonverbal communication ?