Using Body Language in a Job Interview
It’s rarely easy to go out and find a job. Having a good resume can get you in the door. It can make people ready and willing to meet you. They’ll want to discuss your future with their company. However, poor use of body language can lose you the job just when you thought you’d won it.
The interviewer doesn’t say, “I want a person who can use body language.” At least that is probably not their first consideration. They are more likely looking for a person who is honest, confident, and has other qualities that will help them succeed.
The body language simply shows the interviewer if you have those qualities. Your job during the interview is to give yourself a fair shake. Display all your attributes with your body language so the interviewer will understand what a good worker you will be.
This starts before you walk in the door. You can practice in front of a mirror or videotape yourself in a role-playing situation of a job interview. Study your body language to find meanings you don’t intend. Then, be sure to be on time for the interview.
From the time you enter the office, someone may be noticing your body language. If you have to wait in a reception area, it’s best not to fiddle with notes from a briefcase. Instead, casually look through magazines or brochures to pass the time. Your body language will denote ease and confidence.
When someone comes to tell you it’s time to go in for the interview, enter the room as if you did it every day. Stride in with your head held high and your body moving with ease and assurance. Don’t be apologetic by your body language about the way you do it.
Before you start the interview, you should shake the interviewer’s hand. Give a firm, but not overpowering, shake. Always shake hands with your palm up. If your palm is down, it will imply that you are dominant. The interviewer will not be happy with this. Say your name so the interviewer will identify you with it.
Sit in the seat offered. If it is left up to you, sit in a seat beside or across from the interviewer so they will benefit from your use of body language. Try to determine how close the person is comfortable with you being. This is often obvious because of the arrangement of the furniture.
Try to avoid unacceptable body language. If you cross your arms across your chest, the interviewer will think you are being defensive. If you rub your nose, you might be seen as being dishonest. If you put your hands in your pockets, you may be judged as someone who is ill-at-ease or even someone with something to hide. These are types of body language you can easily get away from.
There is much to be learned about the body language of job interviews. There are many websites to find more information. Forbes has one such page. The Wall Street Journal devotes a webpage to it as well. The more you know about body language, the closer you are to getting that job.