Did you know that the way you sit, smile and shake hands can speak volumes during a job interview? It’s true. There is no manual to read to determine how you should manage your body language; however, if you make certain gestures, you’re definitely sending a certain message.
So how can you know what message you’re sending with the body language you’re using? Here is a quick guide to give you some ideas of what you’re saying with your gestures.
Crossing Your Legs
While crossing your legs during an interview seems to be a polite and professional gesture, some experts beg to differ. In fact, this action actually sends a message of complacency, which is not what you want to communicate to your interviewer. This is why it is advised that you instead plant both feet firmly on the floor. It demonstrates confidence in who you are.
Cracking Your Knuckles
If you have body tics, like cracking the joints in your neck or fingers, it may betray your nerves. While you want to show humility in your interview, you never want to let them see you sweat. However, if you’re busy nurturing nervous tics like twirling your hair or fiddling with your cufflinks, you may show more nervousness than intended
If you know that this is a potential issue for you, it’s good to practice sitting in the interview without making nervous gestures. You can make sure to clasp your hands so you don’t allow them to move around. This may help you keep your nervous tendency under control.
Folding Your Arms
Did you know that folding your arms in any situation sends a message that you’re closing yourself off from the person you’re communicating with? This means, if you fold your arms in an interview, you’re sending the interviewer the message that you’re not inviting him or her in. In other words, you can appear to be an unfriendly person, which could potentially X you out of the job.
Leaning Back in Your Chair
When in an interview, it’s not a good idea to lean back in your chair. This gives the impression that you’re overly relaxed and disinterested in the job. It can also make you appear untidy. To remedy this, sit a little bit forward in your chair. This helps you present yourself as alert and eager to answer any questions thrown your way.
Invading the Interviewer’s Space
If you’re the friendly type, you may be unaware if you ever invade an interviewer’s space; however, doing so should be avoided. An example would be if you are sitting on the other side of the interviewer’s desk then stretch your hands or body over the desk.
Since this desk is a personal space for the interviewer, you don’t want to invade this space. If you do, you could come across as unprofessional and disrespectful.
There are many other gestures that you may subconsciously make that create a strong message. If you’re not sure of your own mannerisms, you can set up a mock interview and either have a friend tell you about your body language, or videotape it and play it back. The more you’re aware of the message you’re sending, the more you can improve your interviewing skills.