An interview is something that should help you to highlight your strong suits. The problem is that a lot of people put an emphasis on the bad parts without even realizing it. Body language can turn out to be a huge problem. If it is incorrect or you make some of the mistakes that we will highlight below, you drastically reduce the chances of being hired.
Most people think that the only thing that counts is what they answer to the questions asked by the interviewer. This is completely incorrect. The representative of the company will take a look at your body language, the way you are dressed, how you react to the questions and a whole lot more. Having a proper body language will help you to come up as being serious and more suited for the job you apply for.
Without further do, let us focus on these really common body language mistakes that people usually make.
1. Improper Body Position
When you lean back, you come off as arrogant. When you lean forward, you are seen as aggressive. When you slouch, you are labeled as lazy. All experts agree that you need to sit tall. Your spine needs to be straight and perpendicular to the floor, as if you had a string connected between the ceiling and your head.
2. Crossing Your Arms
One of the first things that you learn in drama and oratory is that when your arms are crossed, you send out a signal of resistance. You automatically put yourself in a defensive position as if you want to cut out everything. Remember that you will seem to be a lot more approachable when your arms are open and on the sides.
3. Too Much Nodding
There are many different ways to say that you agree with a person. How about saying YES? The person that keeps nodding will not look great in an interview. This is something that is often seen in women.
When we wanted to hire someone to take care of the editorial process on some company, one of the candidates nodded so much that we had to politely ask her to stop doing that as it was too distracting and it is not in her best interest. Other interviewers will not say anything. Just nod one or two times and keep a smile on your face. It is enough to let the other person see that you understood.
4. Pointing And Chopping Motions
When you are little you are told that it is not polite to point. The same thing is true when you are in an interview but for a different reason. When you use chopping or pointing motions, you exhibit aggressiveness. The space between the interviewer and you is cut in a way that is perceived as being aggressive. Instead, use smaller motions and remember to keep the arms open.
5. Hands Behind Your Back
As you already figured out from above, during an interview you need to appear as if you are open and completely approachable. Gestures need to be controlled and your hands need to remain still. That is very important when you are asked a question and you start to respond. Hands that are placed behind the back or in pockets will instantly inhibit natural movement. This makes you look stiff. In today’s working environment nobody wants to work with someone that is stiff.
6. You Are Fidgeting
There are so many mentions about this and people still do it. It is one of the clear signs that you feel anxious and that you are nervous. The bad part is that the interviewer will end up distracted by your fidgeting. The impression that you leave is you jingling with coins inside the pockets or whatever gesture you make.
7. Your Face Shows Something Else Than Your Mouth Says
When your tone does not match the facial expression, you will be in trouble. For instance, one of the really common interview questions is: “What are you passionate about?” If you start talking about what you are passionate but your face is blank, it will definitely not look great. It will appear as if you are saying lies and you do not want to come up like that.
Make sure that you do not block your emotions. These are pure and the interviewer loves to see honest reactions. They make you seem human and a person that would be a pleasure to work with. We once hired a man that did not have so much experience but the passion that he had was so strong that we were sure he would learn everything in a short period of time. That is what he did.
8. Lack Of Eye Contact Or Breaking Eye Contact
Many articles that offer tips and tricks for interviews will talk about eye contact. You thus come to the interview prepared to have that eye contact since you know that it is great. Then, you are asked a question that is not comfortable. You then break eye contact in order to avoid something or to gain more time. You were just busted and the interviewer realized that the eye contact was only for show.
The person in the interview chair should not stare but holding the gaze of an interviewer for just one more second while answering can be really powerful. As an extra tip, make sure that you make eye contact when you shake hands.
Go through all that was mentioned above. Be honest with yourself. Try to avoid all the mistakes that are common and do your best to come up as yourself. You do not need to be someone else in the eyes of the interviewer. He/she only wants to be sure that you have the proper qualifications and you are driven enough to want to do the job well. If you manage to transmit this through your body language, you clearly increase the chances of being hired.