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The Importance Of Body Language In An Interview

Joanna Clare

Body language is a form of non verbal communication which nevertheless conveys a huge amount of information.

We all use body language whether consciously or subconsciously. We can usually decipher how someone is feeling just by their actions or facial expressions. Common examples of these could be frowning which could indicate feeling cross or troubled, smiling indicates happiness and a feeling of joy, tilting of the head usually indicates that one is listening intently and nodding usually indicates being in agreement or approving.

The interviewer will be looking for someone who carries themselves well and can interact accordingly and respond appropriately.

Research shows that body language makes up over half of what we communicate so it is of utmost importance that you get it right in the interview process.

Initial impressions are formed within the first few seconds of meeting someone and furthermore, studies show that an interviewer will decide in less than two minutes whether or not they want to hire you.

So, here are a few tips to help you impress your interviewer and to get that job that you want.

It is courtesy and good manners to stand as soon as the interviewer approaches you. Do not remain seated so that they have to ask you to stand and follow them to the interviewing room. This shows that you are alert and anticipating the interview in a positive way.

Be mindful of how you walk into the interview room - don't swing your arms in an over confident way or appear hunched up with nervousness. Stand up straight and if offered a handshake, reciprocate it in a warm yet professional way.

Eye contact is the key here. You may have heard the saying that the eyes are the window to the soul and this is very true as we gain much by looking someone straight in the eye. By maintaining eye contact regularly with your interviewer you convey that you are interested, connected and vigilant. Of course, you should avert your eyes from time to time as no one wants to be stared at but regular eye contact throughout the conversation shows you are paying attention and are fully focused.

Even during the times where you are not talking, your mouth and lips can give away how you are feeling so do try and relax. Do not bite your lips, cover your mouth or tighten your lips as these can all be construed as anger, frustration, worry, surprise or even disapproval.

What you do with your hands throughout an interview is often noticed so try and keep them still and on your lap in a relaxed position with no fidgeting which can be a sign of anxiety which can be distracting.

The majority of  interviewers will fully appreciate that the interview process can be tense and nerve wracking and will therefore show some understanding and leniency towards you. After all, they were once interviewed themselves.

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