Let me hear your body talk…
I will never forget this interview I did a few years ago…I was interviewing a man who had an amazing resume, was very well connected within his industry, spoke eloquently, was well educated, wore a beautifully tailored suit…..and I knew I wouldn’t hire him from the first moment we shook hands. He had the worst posture I had ever seen and it turned me off immediately. All during the interview I found myself mentally willing him to sit up straight. No matter how impressive he was, and what a consummate professional he was, I could not get past his bad posture. It actually gave me the creeps. I kept imagining sending him to meet a client, and imagining their response to him. It was like he had an invisible sign across his forehead that said, “Low self-esteem”. And I knew I did not want this person representing my company. This, dear job seekers, is the awesome power of non-verbal communication, aka ‘body language’. Here are a few important things for you to be aware of when going for an interview. They may not actually get you the job, but they will certainly leave a lasting impression and feeling about you with your interviewer which can make you the front-runner.
- First impressions- Walk into the room looking confident, comfortable and happy to be there. This means standing up straight and tall, walking slowly but purposefully, making eye contact with everyone in the room, and greeting your interviewer with a smile on your face. The point is to look like you’re glad to be there, not like you’re dreading your interview.
- Your handshake speaks volumes- This is another of my pet peeves; a weak or limp handshake. It puts people off immediately. You want to grasp the whole hand of the person you’re shaking with and make just a couple up-and-down motions. A lot of women incorrectly believe that they should do some kind of girlie shake by cupping their hand and only grasping the fingers of the person they’re shaking with- this is incorrect! A strong, firm but relaxed grip from a woman tells everyone that you are comfortable in your arena and you belong where you are. A timid handshake says ,’I’m uncertain and uncomfortable’.
- Leave your nervous energy in your car- Jiggling your leg, biting your fingernails, tapping your foot, drumming on the table or playing with your hair are not only incredibly annoying and distracting, but also send the message that you are not comfortable in your surroundings. This can subconsciously make your interviewer uncomfortable as well, which will not bode well for you.
- Maintain eye contact- A lack of eye contact with your interviewer will give them the impression that you are not trustworthy, that you are hiding something, or that you are not interested. However, don’t let your eye contact slip over the edge into ‘staring’. You want to nod your head, smile, break eye contact when appropriate, then regain it to maintain a connection with your interviewer.