Sharpen up! Top Tips for Improving Body Language.
During an interview there’s always pressure to answer questions well – but what about how we look when we answer them? This blog will cover key physical cues that will ensure effective communication between you and your future employer.
It’s in the eyes.
Eye contact is fundamental when speaking in an interview as it can transmit your confidence and honesty – but before you initiate a Clint Eastwood-inspired showdown, consider where you look and how long for.
As a general rule, change your point of eye contact every 4-5 seconds. This will avoid an uncomfortable stare whilst still coming across direct and confident. Aim to look in between the eyebrows/top of the nose and switch up to other parts of the face when needed.
*TIP – more than one interviewer? Be sure to make eye contact with all of them. Begin with the person who asked the question, then switch to any other interviewers for a few seconds before returning to the first.
Handshakes are another crucial aspect of an interview. They say first impressions are everything so be sure to be the first to reach out, as it will allow you to come across as confident and enthusiastic. Ensure you get the grip right by pointing your hand slightly down and contacting the other person’s palm. Finally, focus on the squeeze. Be firm and assertive, however don’t overdo it – no one likes a harsh handshake.
Smiling is contagious.
A genuine smile is a great way to come across as positive, enthusiastic, approachable and open, which are all qualities that will help you to stand out. In addition to this, a warm smile will allow the interviewer to relax and create a welcoming atmosphere.
*TIP – don’t force it. A forced, fake smile will make you come across as insecure and uneasy. Relax and keep it natural!
The power’s in your hands!
Hand gestures are another great way to express yourself in an interview. When nervous, people often hide their hands which can come across as submissive and untrustworthy. Use your hands to communicate and have your palms showing upwards – this will help you come across as open, honest and authentic!
Perfect your posture.
You’ve heard the saying – ‘chin up, shoulders back, chest out’. Well the same applies for interviews! When entering the room make sure you have an upright, relaxed body position with your shoulders back and chin facing upwards and towards the interviewer. This will allow you to set a confident and professional first impression. When sitting, ensure you don’t slouch or sink into your seat – sit upright to come across as attentive and engaged. For bonus points try to lean in slightly to indicate your interest for the conversation.
Be sure to use these physical cues in your next interview to boost your chances of getting the job! Remember, keep it simple, genuine and enjoy the challenge!
Are you looking for your next social work interview? Give us a call and one of our consultants will be happy to help!