Did you know, studies have shown that body language accounts for 55% of any response? That’s why positive body language is crucial during an interview. Your manners, gestures and posture all emit key signals to an interviewer. Here are 5 top tips for mastering positive body language during an interview.
Positive Body Language #1: Maintain Eye Contact
Eye contact is the very first non-verbal communication you can master when meeting the interviewer to give a great impression. According to studies, good eye contact signals to the interviewer that the candidate has come to the interview eager and prepared. On the other hand, if a person’s eyes are jittery, unfocused or constantly moving, it portrays a sense of unease, nervousness and hesitance.
If you find it difficult to maintain constant eye contact, try direct face contact instead. Look at a part of the interviewer’s face every two seconds, alternating between the various facial features.
Positive Body Language #2: Refine Your Voice
In addition to the non-verbal communication, the pitch and tone of your voice can heavily influence the interviewer. Most people are unaware of the pitch, tone and sound of their voice during routine conversations. However, there are ways to master them during an interview in order to portray sincerity and credibility.
Firstly, a candidate needs to assess the interview room upon entering it and determine the right speaking volume required to communicate clearly with the interviewer. Varying pitch, volume and rhythm throughout the interview will keep the listener interested and portray a positive impression of the candidate.
Use expression in your voice to emphasize key points and convey enthusiasm. Speak slower for emphasis and faster to express emotion, excitement or humour. Use pauses constructively. Pauses can be useful when giving examples to demonstrate a point, to transition to another point or to allow you time to think about your next response.
Positive Body Language #3: Master Your Sitting Position
In situations where we feel nervous or intimidated, our natural response is to defend ourselves. In an interview you can betray your nervousness by sitting on the edge of the chair, bending forward or crossing your arms. These seating positions make us feel secure and comfortable however they can portray a casual attitude and a lack of enthusiasm.
In contrast, sitting straight can portray a sign of confidence, intelligence and reliability. Therefore, it is important for you to keep your posture open in order to emit a positive signal.
Sit back in the chair and imagine a string pulling you up from the top of your head. This will open your posture and signal positive body language.
Positive Body Language #4: Use Natural Facial Expressions
Other than maintaining eye contact, you should use natural facial expressions throughout the interview. Smiling conveys warmth, enthusiasm and energy. Keeping facial expressions natural signals to the interviewer that the candidate is trustworthy and reliable. You also should nod your head on occasion during the interview to demonstrate your understanding and interest in what the interviewer is saying. Facial expressions should be kept as natural as possible but not excessive to the point of forced.
Positive Body Language #5: Control Gestures
Keep your movements steady and avoid fidgeting during an interview. A good handshake when meeting the interviewer for the first time is important. An aggressive handshake is considered unprofessional, while a limp one conveys weakness or indifference. Your handshake should be short, crisp and steady.
Don’t be afraid to use your hands during an interview. Studies have shown that using hand gestures increases the value of the message by 60%. Hand gestures are expressive and can help you to access memories. They are most effective when speaking about a list of points, to demonstrate growth or an increase in something or to signal they have finished speaking.