Interviews, while dreaded by many, are a necessary part of the hiring process. Strong applicants who look great on paper may wonder why they’re struggling to land a job. If you’ve had interview after interview and no job offers, learning effective body language might help. Here are five tips for using body language to maximize your chances of landing a job:
Your interview starts as soon as you walk in the door, long before you meet the interviewer. In many cases, the receptionist will brief the interviewer on their first impression of each candidate before the interview. Upon entering, greet the receptionist and exchange pleasantries. Smile, keep your phone out of sight, and try to keep calm. If you can’t keep calm, fake it.
Greet the interviewer with a proper handshake. Your smile is part of your handshake.
Maintaining eye contact with a stranger is awkward, but did you know that avoidance of eye contact can signify dishonesty or lack of confidence? It's important to visually connect with the interviewer. Don’t stare, though. Try to keep it natural. If you struggle with eye contact, practice in a mirror or on video ahead of time so you can assess your weaknesses and work on them.
Even when you're told to make yourself comfortable in the interview room, pay attention to arm and hand positions. You should place hands on the chair's armrests, or place them in your lap. Keep your hands out of your pockets, and never cross your arms, as this signifies defensiveness and coldness.
Did you know that knee positions send messages, too? Pointing your knees away from someone can indicate disagreement. You should position yourself so that your interviewer is front and center.
When the interview is over, close it on a good note. In addition to expressing verbal gratitude for the interviewer's time, smile and shake hands. Don't forget to maintain proper posture and walk confidently out of the interview room.
Interviewing repeatedly and failing to land a job offer can be frustrating, but these tips on body language can improve your chances of getting hired. Applying this knowledge might even get you that dream job.