Body language at a job interview – what to look out for?
Body language is an integral part of our communication. The way we move, gesture or maintain eye contact can convey a lot of information about ourselves and influence how we will be perceived by others. At a job interview, where every detail matters, understanding and skilfully using body language can significantly increase your chances of getting the job you want. In this article, we outline some key aspects of body language to look out for during a job interview.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Why is body language important in a job interview?
- Body language – what does it include?
- What to look out for in a job interview?
Why is body language important in a job interview?
Behaviour at a job interview is an extremely important part of the interview. Recruiters pay attention not only to what we say, but also to how we present ourselves. Non-verbal communication can sometimes reveal more than words alone. It is a powerful message that is difficult to control. A recruiter may look at our gestures more than our words. A candidate’s unconscious behaviour can show that they are not telling the truth. Recruiters will catch this quickly and may start asking trick questions.
Many of us underestimate the power of non-verbal communication. Employers pay a lot of attention to the self-presentation of prospective employees. Body language can significantly change their perception of us.
Body language – what does it include?
Non-verbal communication is a type of communication that is conveyed through gestures. Body language includes:
- facial expressions, facial expressions
- voice (tone, speed)
- physical appearance (clothing, hairstyle, make-up),
- distance between interlocutors,
- eye contact
It is worth remembering that not all messages are conscious. Total control over our bodies is difficult, especially when we are stressed. Questions at a job interview can catch us off guard. Stress will influence us to start stammering, our voice will shake or baked goods will appear.
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What to look out for in a job interview?
The job interview is an important moment that determines whether we get a new job. Our first impression has a significant impact on how we will be perceived by the employer. For most people, it is an extremely stressful situation. The recruiter asks us questions about our experience, skills. It is therefore worth preparing for a job interview. The questions are often repetitive, so that the candidate can more or less think about the answer. What should body language look like at a job interview? What should you look for when talking to a recruiter or employer?
First impressions matter a great deal. Start with a firm, confident handshake. Remember not to overdo the strength, but also avoid the ‘dead fish’. Such a handshake shows confidence and a willingness to cooperate.
Ensure an upright but not rigid posture. Avoid crossing your arms, as this can suggest closure and uncooperativeness. Instead, spread your arms and hands slightly, showing that you are open and ready to talk.
Maintain eye contact with the interviewer, but don’t be pushy. This shows that you are confident, respect the interviewer and are engaged in the conversation. Avoid shifting your gaze to the side or downwards, as this can be perceived as uncertainty or lack of commitment.
Use natural gestures, but in moderation. Hand movements can emphasise your words and add expression, but excessive gesturing can distract from the content of the conversation.
Don’t forget to smile. Smiling shows that you are friendly, open and positive. When attending a recruitment interview, it’s worth ensuring a moderate smile that doesn’t look forced.
The way you speak
Your body language also affects the way you speak. Speak clearly, with the right pace and modulation of voice. Pay attention to intonation, as it can convey your emotions and attitude to the subject. Avoid monotony and speaking too loudly or quietly. Proper voice control will help you to better convey your communication.
Responding to questions
When answering questions, pay attention to your body language. If you are pondering an answer, avoid obvious frowning of the eyebrows or gestures that indicate uncertainty. Instead, you may nod your head to show understanding of the question, and calmly collect your thoughts before answering. Try to answer questions confidently, but without exaggerating your achievements.
Body language also plays an important role when you are the listener. Show the interviewer that you are engaged in the conversation by nodding your head, maintaining eye contact and responding to what they say. Avoid gestures that may suggest impatience, such as waving your hand or drumming your fingers.
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Body language is a key element of communication during an interview. Remember that every gesture, posture and the way you speak has an impact on how you will be perceived by the recruiter. By ensuring your body language is correct, you increase your chances of leaving a positive impression and ultimately getting your dream job. Try to be natural and confident, yet open and engaged in the conversation.
Check also: What is interpersonal communication?