Did you know that you don’t need to be eloquent to make a good impression at job interviews? 93% of human communication is done through body language. This includes gestures, facial expressions, posture, volume and tone of voice.
Body language tells the interviewer a lot more than spoken word alone. It reveals whether a candidate is sincere, enthusiastic and focused or whether they are reluctant, insecure and nervous.
The impression you give the hiring manager at your job interview can make or break your chances of employment. Here are some statistics from an employer survey conducted by Career Building and Adecco that shows the power of body language in a job interview:
67% of hiring managers cite lack of eye content as the biggest mistake candidates make.
26% of applicants in an interview get rejected because they fidget too much.
39% of interviewers are put off if a candidate fails to smile.
What You Wear Matters
You can tell what job a person does by what they wear. That’s why what you wear to your job interview can say a lot about who you are and how you feel about the position you are applying for.
Being well-groomed is a must for any job interview. This means you should clip your fingernails, comb your hair and wear clean shoes. A sloppy, unprepared appearance will put off the hiring manager even before you open your mouth.
This is not to say that you must dress up like you’re going for a fashion show in order to impress the hiring manager. In fact, too many accessories may give your interviewer the impression that you are showing off or are not taking this job opportunity seriously.
Research the company’s dress code before attending your interview for a general idea of what is acceptable and work from there.
Make Eye Contact
Eye contact is a sign of openness and interest. Making and maintaining eye contact tells the hiring manager that you are attentive and eager to engage with the situation. Averting your gaze and keeping your head down makes you look distracted, uncertain and uninterested in the interview—which is immediately obvious to your interviewer at a glance.
However, that does not mean you should stare at your interviewer. Successful eye contact at a job interview involves holding their gaze for a few seconds upon greeting, then looking at them for a second at a time when you’re conversing. If there are multiple interviewers, look at the person asking the question, then briefly make eye contact with the other people in the room.
Eye contact not only helps you to make a good impression on your interviewers but it also allows you to gauge how well you’re doing and how they feel about you. Are they paying attention and returning eye contact when you speak? Do they show interest in what you’re saying or should you keep it short?
Sit Up Straight
Last but not least, good posture can make you look confident and reliable almost immediately. Slouching forward or backward suggests that you don’t place much importance on this interview. If your upper body is twisted, your voice immediately loses power. Sitting at the edge of your seat suggests you’re tense and unsure of yourself.
Even if your job interview is online or through the phone, good posture can make a difference in the impression you make. Body language affects your tone of voice, enthusiasm and how alert you are to what is being said. So just like in a traditional face-to-face interview, sit upright and maintain a good posture so you come across as attentive and likeable.
There’s a lot more to be said about body language at a job interview but these are the basics that will guarantee you make a good impression on them immediately.
The most important thing is to be respectful and attentive towards your interviewer. From the moment you greet them to when you say goodbye, be professional and friendly.
Do not fidget but also do not sit like an immovable statue.
Nod your head and respond to what is being said.
Occasionally use hand gestures to express yourself.
And when saying goodbye, remember to smile, shake their hand and thank them for the opportunity to be interviewed.