10 Tips to Getting your Body Language Right During an Interview

“… Great actors use their bodies to give a convincing performance; act the part and you’ll feel the part.”

According to research carried out by Professor Mehrabian, communication is only 7 percent verbal and 93 percent non-verbal; non-verbal includes 38% tone of voice and a staggering 55% body language.

This reflects the importance of getting your body language right during an interview as your body language can have a big impact on the way you’re perceived by others. For example, fidgeting can make you look nervous and weak but there are ways to use your body language to your advantage.

Below are top tips to ensure you are giving off the right body language signals during interview:

1) First impressions count

First impressions are important; you should be in interview mode before you enter the interview room. Ensure you are on your best behaviour from the first person you come in contact with whether this be the office staff or teachers at the school. You never know, they may well be asked for their first impressions of you so bear this in mind. 

2) Handshake

Upon seeing your interviewer/s, ensure you shake their hands firmly but don’t hold too tight a grip and look your interviewers in the eyes when doing this. This will start you off on the right foot and show confidence.

3) Show confidence

We all get nervous during interviews. To some extent nerves are a good thing as they show how much the job opportunity means to you. Try counter measure your nervous behaviours with confident ones for example, walk with purpose and energy. You can do this by ensuring you have good posture including when standing. 

Also, sit as if there is a string tied from the top of your head to the ceiling. Gesturing with open palms at exactly navel height will immediately show you are calm, assertive and confident and altogether exude intelligence and credibility. 

4) Maintain good eye contact

Upon meeting candidates, one of the first things people try to decide is whether you are trustworthy. Maintaining good eye contact is an effective way of conveying you’re trustworthy. Too much eye contact can appear intimidating though so it is important to get it right; it should be regular eye contact but not overly persistent. Here is an article on the secrets to making non-awkward eye contact. 

5) Lean slightly towards your interviewer

From time to time, lean in slightly towards your interviewer that you are engaged in a conversation with. This shows you are interested in what they are saying but ensure you bear in mind the golden rule that personal space extends about 20 inches and you could make the interviewer feel uncomfortable if you encroach on this space. 

6) Mirror your interviewer

Mirroring is a simple and powerful Neuro Linguistic Programming technique to build rapport with someone. We often do this innately with our friends, family and colleagues but it can be used to connect with someone you don’t know. You can do this by copying their body language/gestures (with a delay or it will feel strange), words, tone, amongst other things. Get it right and it will start happening naturally.  Here is advice on how to do it successfully. 

7) Keep your arms and legs uncrossed

You can appear defensive or guarded if you cross your arms and legs so ensure you have both feet firmly on the ground and you find a place for your hands – this doesn’t mean in your pockets. By pressing the fingertips of your hands together to form a church steeple, this is a display of confidence. 

8) Nod

Nodding is an excellent way to show interest in a conversation and that you are in agreement with what the interviewers say. If you don’t naturally nod when speaking to people then be aware of the opportunities when you can. Of course, don’t overdo it though as this will eradicate all the positive body signals previously. 

9) A smile goes a long way

Smiling shows you are approachable and will help interviewers warm to you. A genuine smile is also often contagious and can instantly create a more positive environment. A study showed smiling can help us deal with certain stressful situations and a genuine smile using your eyes works even better.   Here’s an article about how simply smiling can reduce stress. 

10) Address everyone

If you have more than one interviewer then ensure you are addressing them too. When one of the interviewers asks you a question, briefly address all people in the room and return your gaze back to the person who initially asked you the question.






Read this article on how you can take back control of your work. 

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