Every job interview is different and no matter how much preparation you do, there’s always a chance you’ll get a curveball question that could jeopardise the whole thing.
So what should you do? Prepare answers? Yes. Research the role and company? Definitely. What about work on your body language? You may not have thought about it before but body language can play a vital role in the success of an interview, so what can you do to give yourself the best possible chance?
Remember eye contact
First impressions are never more important than during an interview, so use your non-verbal communication to give the best possible impression you can. That means a good handshake and plenty of eye contact, both at the start and throughout the interview.
We don’t mean you should stare constantly at your interviewer, that’s just weird, but maintaining some eye contact during the interview will show you’re engaged, listening and understanding.
Be open and approachable
This is the very foundation of positive body language, so make sure you get it right. Once you’re in the interview chair remember to sit upright, rather than slouched, and be sure to be keep your arms open and welcoming rather than crossed and defensive.
This is easier said than done when you’re in a nervy situation like an interview but if you can maintain this body language from the moment you meet the interviewer to the moment you’re out of the building, you’ll leave a far better impression.
Mirror your interviewer
Another classic body language trick – one that’s been used by people on first dates for years – is to mirror what the other person is doing, thereby ingratiating yourself to them.
Obviously you’ll need to be subtle when doing this – you don’t want to copy every single thing they do! But mirroring small actions like hand gestures, a change of posture or nodding can establish a common ground between you and the interviewer.
We don’t mean wave your arms around like a maniac every time you speak, but using your hands and gesturing to reinforce your point will demonstrate confidence and self-belief.
It’s also good to remember that open, upwards palms indicate honesty and an open nature, so avoid clenching your fists or worse, keeping your hands in your pockets.
We all know to try and remain as relaxed and calm as possible when going for an interview, and the same goes for your body language. So, when using the tips above remember not to go overboard!
Fiddling with your hands, shifting around a lot, even nodding too much… these actions can all give off a negative impression and put you on the back foot. Keep your body language calm, confident and collected and you’ll give yourself the best chance of success.