The expression “actions speak louder than words” is often true when it comes to interviewing. Body language expert Amy Cuddy states in her TedTalk “our bodies change our minds, and our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes.” So what does this mean when you’re going for that all-important job interview?
Interviewees must walk a fine line during job interviews. How do you convey confidence, without gloating; friendly but not overbearing; talented but not arrogant?
What are you revealing with your body language and how can you make sure your messaging is what you want it to be? Using a few simple tricks and tips can impact the outcome of your interview and help forge relationships.
Direct “face” contact: We’re often told that direct eye contact is key to building relationships and showing that you’re actively engaged. Research shows that this is not accurate. Our eyes instinctively wander around a face, jumping between a person’s eyes and mouth. Do what comes naturally to you and don’t get hung up about staring at your interviewer.
Be expressive: Sitting on your hands or staying too still can be a sign of nervousness or insecurity. Use your hands and arms to express yourself. Showing your palms can be interpreted as a sign of engagement and honesty, too. However, watch the over-gesturing.
Good posture: There are few things more unnerving than interviewing someone with bad posture (see also: limp handshakes). Sit upright in your chair, but make sure you’re comfortable and not too rigid. Lean in every now and then to show that you are engaged, but remember to be mindful of your interviewer’s personal space.
Mirroring: You may be familiar with mirroring and how it shows that someone is subconsciously interested in you if they begin mirroring your body language. This works in reverse, too. Mirroring your interviewer can help create a sense of ease and maintain rapport.
You and your interviewer are relaying more information to one another non-verbally than verbally. If you are paying attention, you can understand the information being shared and influence the information in your responses.
Do you have an upcoming interview? Check out our interview advice on the Artisan Creative website.