When you hear the term “body language”, what comes to your mind?
And did you know that your body language may be the reason why you perform poorly in interviews?
So what is the most basic definition of body language?
In the simplest form; body language refers to non-verbal communication.
In case you did not know, in a job interview, body language accounts for over 60%! Meaning you could have all the right things to say in an interview but unfortunately your body language lets you down.
As a qualified job interview coach, I have taken over 200 candidates through a one on one mock interview session and I can tell you over 50% of them do not have appropriate body language.
Book Your Session Now >>> 1 on 1 mock interview coaching session
But what makes up body language and why does it affect the outcome of a job interview?
Today I want us to go through 4 of the major components of body language and how they can positively or negatively affect you in a job interview.
1. Eye contact
I don’t know whether you have ever attended an interview where there was one person in an interview panel who never asked you a question; all they did was look at you and take notes.
This person is there to interview you purely on your body language.
If you have a problem maintaining eye contact in an interview, it automatically gives the impression that you are not confident and in some cases, you are not prepared.
Maintaining proper eye contact is often a symbol of courage, confidence and also a way of showing that you understand your subject matter.
Maintaining eye contact may seem like a non-issue but it carries a lot of weight in an interview.
2. Body posture and movements
How sit/stand in a job interview really matters. Why? Different postures mean different things.
The minute you seat down and start slouching, swinging in your chair, having excess bodily movements, it can rub a panel off the wrong way.
For instance, slouching, crossing arms, leaning back carelessly gives the impression you are not interested in the job; you could care less.
Always maintain an upright posture, lean forward-it shows interest, confidence and concentration.
And in the event you have to stand (though rare), stand in an upright pose and avoid having too many awkward movements.
This is especially during PowerPoint presentations. Minimize how much you move because it is sometimes a sign of nervousness and unpreparedness.
Again, don’t stand in one person as if planted there; make slight movements by adequate use of the space provided.
3. Audience/Panel engagement
How do you even start engaging an interview panel? Where do you start?
Just because it’s a job interview doesn’t mean it has to be mechanical; meaning it doesn’t have to be rigid in just the usual question and answer.
At the same time, always offer enough information, don’t let the interviewers keep poking you for answers. Not only is it frustrating but tiring.
And by the way, if you have been finding yourself spending a very short time in an interview, say 10 minutes or less, it’s because you didn’t engage the panel and it will be hard to get a call back.
Engage the panel by intriguing them with relevant experiences, solutions and ideas you have.
Remember they are human too so relax and be yourself. Imagine you are having a conversation with your friend or colleague.
Don’t always be in the habit of crossing your arms in an interview.
Gestures are so critical in body language because they give emphasis by showing you understand and you are confident in what you are saying.
But be careful not to overuse gestures because they can mean you are too nervous and you are not able to express your thoughts effectively.
Quick Read >>> How to use gestures in an interview.
Now that you know…
There are so many other elements of body language, but these 4 are some of the greatest.
So as you prepare for an interview also start working on your body language.
And if you need that extra expert help to prepare for an upcoming interview, click here.