In today’s shaky economy, job interviews are more stressful than ever. In order to make a good impression during a job interview, you must learn to harness your involuntary bodily responses to stress and become a calm, collected candidate whose skills and qualifications won’t get squandered by an awkward body language. Here are top 5 body language tricks that will improve your chances at landing a job.
The very first seconds of your interview are already significant – if you enter the office with a shy knock, limp handshake and avoid eye contact, your body language will convey a lack of confidence. Instead, give the interviewer a firm handshake and maintain eye contact. Remember not to go overboard and dominate the room – always follow the basic rules of politeness.
Our body language doesn’t only impact the way others see us – it can also change the way we see ourselves. Check out this incredibly popular and inspiring TED talk by Amy Cuddy, where she demonstrates how assuming a confident posture (even when we don’t feel too self-assured) affects our brain chemistry and impacts our chance for success.
Eye contact simply means you’re open and honest. Relax your face muscles and make sure they match the tone of what you’re saying – when stressed, you might appear rigid or even untrustworthy.
Gazing into your interviewer’s eyes for too long is risky too – more than 7-10 seconds of intense stare would induce discomfort in anyone. Try to be as natural as possible – when rehearsing your answers to potential interview questions, train in front of the mirror to see whether your facial expressions convey an image of calm confidence.
Relax and Speak Your Mind
What you say during a job interview is just as important as how you say it. Monitor the tone of your speaking voice to make sure you’re a picture of relaxed confidence. Don’t modify your normal speaking style too much – control your pitch and volume. Avoid clearing your throat, accompanying your responses with ‘ums’ and constructing extremely long sentences that never arrive to their point.
Manage Your Gestures and Posture
Crossing your arms, fidgeting or maintaining a firm hold to your briefcase will all impede you from making a great impression. You need your hands free to be able to punctuate your words – go for natural gesticulation and avoid choppy gestures or touching your face. Keep your hands at the level between your hips and shoulders to project confidence.
Mirror the Interviewer
This trick has over the years been proven to work no matter what. All you need to do is imitate the movements of the interviewer. If they lean, you lean as well – if they move their hand on the desk, you can do something similar. Remember – those are just body cues for you to follow, not replicate in detail.
In order to fully benefit from all the tips listed above, try to integrate them in your daily life. Practicing those simple steps will help you to render them more natural and easily handle all kinds of professional meetings, not only job interviews.
Angelica Jennsen is an experienced marketing specialist with vast IT experience currently employed by Seven Spots who divides her time between work and her passion for traveling and learning languages.