Your nonverbal communication is just as important as what you say.
Studies show that up to 40% of hiring managers don’t choose candidates that seem disengaged or uninterested. This is why your nonverbal cues are so important in making a great impression with your interviewer. While we’ve already covered the keys to a great first impression, your nonverbal cues are important enough that there are a few things worth discussing once again.
Always make sure to stand up when someone new enters the room. Standing is a welcoming gesture and shows respect to your interviewer. This also allows you to make eye contact more easily, and give a firm handshake.
Eyes are the window to the soul. Well, maybe that’s not necessarily true, but making eye contact does help with authenticity. There have been a number of studies about eye contact, but a few things stand out. Making eye contact makes you seem more confident, and more competent in the workplace. In contrast, eyes that dart around the room are often associated with people that are undependable and not trustworthy. That makes eye contact a must in any interview situation.
Your nonverbal cues help to show that you are interested and engaged in the conversation. In particular, leaning in can help you demonstrate that you are paying attention to what the hiring manager has to say. Experts say that leaning backwards can indicate boredom, so it’s important to be aware of what your posture says about your interest.
The distraction caused by phones is becoming increasingly problematic in the workplace. As a society, we’ve become phone obsessed, and our usage of them can send the wrong signals. Silencing your phone is good, but I say go the extra mile and turn it off completely. Show your prospective employer that you are focused, and ready to give them your full attention.
In any interview, how you present yourself says as much as your words do. So look your interviewer in the eyes, use a firm handshake, sit up straight, and lean forward - especially when they are speaking.
Be confident in what you say and be aware of what your body language says as well. And remember that it's ok to be nervous, it shows that you care about the job opportunity.
This is the second installment in our “How to Nail Your Interview” blog series. Click here to read the first one, How to Nail Your Interview: Introducing Yourself.
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