Body language, or non-verbal communication makes up the lion’s share of our communication. The numbers have been debated but generally our non-verbal communication makes up somewhere between 60% to 90% of our communication. Regardless of the exact percentage, the fact is, non – verbal communication is the single most powerful form of communication. Therefore job seekers must pay close attention to their body language during a job interview.
Body language includes various forms of nonverbal communication wherein a person may reveal unspoken clues through their physical behavior including: Body posture; gestures; facial expressions and eye movement.
As one who has interviewed hundreds of job applicants, I can tell you from personal experience, body language is one of the leading interview killers. Poor eye contact, bad posture or lack of facial expression are sure to sabotage your chances of getting a job offer.
Here are a few simple tips to insure your body language will help you ace the interview.
1. Smile with your eyes. Smiling with your eyes conveys a genuine smile. You know when someone is faking a smile because their eyes don’t change expression. They still look the same. When you smile with your eyes you will squint a bit and your eyes will light up your entire face. A good way to smile with your eyes is to think happy thoughts.
2. Be aware of your posture. When you are in an interview you want to develop rapport with the other person. Leaning slightly forward as you listen to the interviewer will indicate that you are engaged and actively listening. Slouching in your chair is out. Good body posture exudes confidence.
3. Develop eye contact. Good eye contact is not a staring contest. It should be a natural occurrence and be consistent. While the interviewer is asking you a question try looking to one side of her nose. Then as you formulate an answer in your head, look away for a brief moment. Again, look back at the person as you deliver your answer. Avoid looking down if you are stumped by a question.
4. Nod when others are speaking. This indicates you are actively listening and understanding what is being said. This is an excellent way to develop rapport.
5. Keep an open stance. We can enhance our non – verbal communication simply by keeping an open stance, sitting or standing with our legs apart. This conveys self -confidence and that you are comfortable in your own skin. Keep arms at your side or comfortable rest one hand over the other just above the knees. Tightly folded arms suggest resistance on the one hand or vulnerability and or insecurity on the other. Neither stance sends the message of confidence we want to convey in an interview.
Landing a job is more than stating your accomplishments and experience. A winning interview is all about how you convey that information through your non-verbal communication. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.