Body language plays a big part in our daily interactions—from interacting with clients and vendors to public speaking to conducting interviews—whether you are the interviewee OR the interviewer.
I once interviewed a brilliant candidate, who was extremely skilled in his craft and (on paper), had all the qualifications our client was looking to hire.
However, during our pre-qualification interview, the candidate never made eye contact and looked down for the better part of our conversation. And, when he did look up, he would look a few inches above my head.
There were three of us conducting this group interview, so perhaps his nerves took over or he didn’t know which one of us to look at.
He was very smart—however, the role was asking for more than smarts—our client was looking for someone with strong interpersonal skills to interface with their clients and vendors. And, they were looking for a leader, who could command attention and the respect of his peers and team.
It is a fact that first impressions are made within 7 seconds.This means initially body language speaks much louder than words and often sets the tone of whether someone decides to take you seriously or not!
In an interview, this could be the difference between getting that desired job or not getting it!
In today’s digital age, video interviews have become commonplace and often take place over Skype, Zoom, Facetime or Google Hangouts as a first interview.
Body language in a digital interview is just an important as in person — maybe even more since the goal is to do well enough to get to the ‘in person’ stage.
In an ‘in person’ interview, your body language is critical the moment you enter the building—from the time you greet the receptionist, to waiting in the lobby, to finally meeting your prospective boss. Imagine you are on stage the entire time—you never know who else will be called upon to join the interview!
In a group interview setting, greet and shake everyone’s hands and make the essential eye contact.When answering a question, share equal time looking at the interviewers. Start with the person who has asked a question, then pace yourself and look at the others as you share the specifics of your background. Do not make the mistake of only looking at and addressing the big boss.
If asked a difficult question, or a question that requires you to think before answering—do not start staring around the room or the ceiling as if the answer is magically written on the walls!
Hopefully, you’ve prepared for this moment. Take a moment, breathe and speak to a specific or parallel experience you have, in a confident articulate manner.
As a candidate, you must research the industry, the company and the role in advance to be fully prepared for the tough questions!
Pay attention to your ‘sitting’ body language: are your arms crossed, could you possibly be seen as reserved or distant? This can sometimes portray insecurity. Or are you leaning in to demonstrate paying attention?
Your gestures and facial expressions are windows into your personality during an interview. As much as you are being interviewed for your skills, you are also being interviewed for fit within the team. Are you friendly, confident, outgoing, articulate? Eye contact and smiling are a quick assessment of these traits.
Be aware of your gestures and how much is too much—in an interview you want to demonstrate excitement and passion for the role. However, since you are on a much smaller stage, scale everything back to fit the environment.
Body language speaks volumes—Let it speak loud and clear!
At Artisan Creative we will share our 20+ years of experience to help prepare you for your interview. Contact us today.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the 465th issue of our a.blog.