Body language in a job interview means everything. Most hiring managers generally decide after only 1 minute if they want to hire someone or not. You can have the best CV and an impressive experience perfectly fitting into the role. But it’s your body language which is calling the shots. And your confidence is what will secure the job position you are interviewing for. I can guarantee that the expression “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” means so much more during the job interviews than anywhere else. The communication research and study done in 1971 had first shown something before unimaginable: 55% of our communication comes from our body language, 38% from our voice tone and only 7% comes from the actual spoken words.
So we’ve already established that the interviewer is paying more attention to what you do and how you are saying it, rather than what you actually say. You are being evaluated from the moment you step through the door, even before you start speaking. So which are the best ways to show confidence with your body language, to ace your interview and get hired faster?
Tip Number 1
Smile and try to enjoy the process confident people smile, nervous people wrinkle their face looking serious or distracted. Smiling expresses many positive emotions and character traits at the same time. These include confidence, gratitude for the opportunity, friendliness and charisma. And believe it or not, smiling will also help you to relax and calm your nerves. And it doesn’t mean a constant stiff and creepy smile. Keep a relaxed face and smile in a natural way. Especially when you first meet, when you talk about something that is highly interesting to you and when you are saying goodbye.
Tip Number 2
Maintain good eye contact. The worst thing you can you in terms of body language during an interview is not establishing an eye contact with your interviewer. There’s nothing more important than the eye contact when it comes to showing confidence. And it’s extremely noticeable if you are staring down or to the side when you talk. A tip to remind yourself to make regular eye contact is to focus on a spot between the interviewer’s eyes. It’s a way to show that you’re actively listening, that you are engaged and confident. Remember to take natural breaks, like looking down at your resume every once in a while. It’s a balancing act, so just keep practicing until it feels comfortable. Avoiding an eye contact will give an impression of you being dishonest.
Tip Number 3
A proper handshake. The key to a proper handshake is to match your interviewers grip. A firm, but not overly firm handshake is quite important when it comes to a positive first impression. While shaking hands, look your interviewer in the eye and let the handshake feel natural, not too long and not too short. Everyone always talks about an importance of a “firm handshake” but that doesn’t mean “not stopping until you hear bones crack”. Keep it comfortable and professional.
Tip Number 4
Body positioning. A good posture during an interview is essential, it has to be long and tall. Sit up straight. It may seem obvious, but if your seat has side rails you can be tempted to lean to the sides. Sitting up straight during the interview signals to the employer that you are confident and interested. This open posture will also make the conversation flow more natural.
Tip Number 5
Don’t fidget during your interviews. What does this mean? It means sitting still and making controlled and calculated movements. Instead of nervously moving your hands and feet. Holding and moving a pen or paper, tapping with your hands or any other objects. It is fine to be engaged and talk with your hands, it shows your enthusiasm. But don’t move your hands around when you should be listening! Don’t touch your face, don’t move around a lot in your seat, don’t tap and don’t pull out your clothing. This will give the impression that you are unreliable and uncertain. Sometimes we don’t even know we have such habits. It’s a good idea to practice your interview with someone, who could give you an honest feedback on how confident you come across and what you should avoid. Preparing questions for the interviewer will make you feel more comfortable and confident.
Tip number 6
Your voice tone don’t try to appear overly confident by screaming. To convey confidence, always speak in a clear and controlled voice. Vary your tone and pitch, without coming across as too excited or emotional. Remember to breathe before answering a question. If you rush out an answer in your interview, you can’t take it back. So never be afraid to pause. This gives you time to react and formulate an answer that you will deliver in a confident manner. Also don’t worry about asking them to clarify the question, if you are unsure what is being asked.
Now a Bonus Tip
Think positive and keep a positive focus. It’s really important to remind yourself that you would not have been invited to the interview. If you weren’t considered a potential candidate for the role! Keeping this in mind is big advantage to mentally cheer yourself up before the interview, and make things flow in a natural and positive way.
Job interview is not a life-or-death situation, things can never be perfect. Hiring managers are humans too. They will understand your nervousness and any minor mistakes you might make. But these tips will definitely improve your interviewing skills and boost your confidence during job interviews.