Non-verbal communication: the secret language behind great interviews
7 Jul 2021
Body language is vital, whether you’re face to face, or online. The moment your potential new boss sees you, they will be making an assessment about you, as well as thinking about the answers you give.
People say up to 93% of communication is non-verbal, so it’s worth considering ‘What is my body language saying about me?’ and master some simple tips that will become second nature.
First impressions count
As soon as you’re on the screen or in the room greet your interviewer clearly and with assurance. Look ready to engage in the interview. However you might be feeling, your face should show you are eager for their questions. Body language skills are not faking confidence. A better way of thinking about body language is to make sure it isn’t pulling in a different direction to your best-self.
Employers value staff who are open to new ideas and those who can work with a wide range of people. To reinforce your open attitude, avoiding sitting with your arms folded. If you find you do this habitually, try not to hold it for too long as this can look defensive. If it spontaneously happens, give yourself a light squeeze and relax.
Getting your focus right is important. You don’t want to come over uptight or far too laid back at interview. Sometimes anxiety can make you look distracted as you try to allay your tension by looking away at odd times or fiddling with something like a pen or an earring. This can happen very easily if you’re on a screen as you may feel there is a barrier through which your interviewer can’t see. This isn’t the case so clear your desk and make sure there an no pens to fiddle with!
Eye contact with a smile is the most powerful start and end to an interview. Hold a look for between one and four seconds but no longer. If you’re being interviewed by more than one person, maintain your focus on the person asking the questions but engage others in the conversation as they become involved. Online, try to avoid looking at your own face on the screen, look at the faces of the people you are talking to. Despite the limitations of the technology, it is amazing how this gives a sense of connection on both sides.
Leave your interviewer thinking they’ve found the right person. Don’t rush but also don’t linger. Thank your interviewer clearly so they know you appreciate the opportunity. This is your last impression, so make it a good one.
Take on these suggestions and you’ll be well on your way to a successful outcome. Get your body language right, and you’re 93% there!