5 Body Language Tips for Your Next Job Interview
According to Psychiatrist and Entrepreneur in Residence Dr. Samantha Boardman, actions speak louder than words.
Imagine interviewing for your dream job. You are well prepared to answer the classic question “So, why should we hire you?” and any other question that a challenging interviewer might throw your way. You practiced in front of the mirror and with your best friend over a dozen times. During the actual interview, a list of specific ways you can add value to the company rolls off your tongue. You say all the right things. But what if your body language is saying something else? Hunched shoulders, downcast eyes and crossed arms may send an entirely different message. Research shows how gestures, posture and nonverbal cues communicate information in powerful ways. It is vital that your body language complements the message you wish to convey, because your body speaks volumes. Convince the interviewer with your verbal and nonverbal communication that you are, hands-down, the best candidate for the job. Here are five ways to say what you want to say, loud and clear, before you even open your mouth.
1. Sit up straight
Good posture communicates confidence and makes you feel more confident. Studies show it also reduces stress—just what the doctor ordered during a tough interview.
2. Look them in the eye
Maintain good eye contact to show you are paying attention and engaged in the conversation. That said, this doesn’t mean you can never look away. It’s normal to break eye contact while you are thinking or processing information. Let your eyes reflect your enthusiasm and interest, especially when the interviewer is speaking.
3. Smile, but not too much
According to research, too much smiling during an interview can actually hinder your chances of getting the job. By all means, be friendly, but don’t overdo it by constantly showing your pearly whites to endear yourself to the interviewer. It may be misinterpreted as a lack of seriousness or competence.
4. Hold a pencil
If you are a fidgeter, hold a pencil in your hand. Another option is to place your hands on the arms of your chair. Avoid holding them in your lap beneath the table like a nervous child or crossing your arms.
5. Channel Wonder Woman
Before the interview, strike a power pose. Stand with your arms in the air in a V-for-“victory” sign and your feet apart for a few minutes in private. According to Harvard professor Amy Cuddy, interviewers judged candidates who had power posed beforehand as more trustworthy than candidates who didn’t.
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