When you enter an interview, it only takes a few seconds for your interviewer to form their opinion of you. Throughout your meeting, it’s important to keep in mind that an interview is not long enough to really get to know someone. Your body language in that first meeting is a key indicator of your personality for your interviewer, and they are relying on the nonverbal cues you send to make their assessment of you.
To be sure that you’re sending the right signals, avoid these body language behaviors:
1. Bored Expression
Many people often don’t even realize when they have a seemingly bored or unapproachable expression on their face. Be mindful of how you’re responding to your interviewer, and put in extra effort to be sure that your attitude is portrayed in your facial expressions. Never underestimate the power of a smile!
2. Poor Handshake
Your handshake is commonly evaluated by interviewers, and it can say a lot about your temperament. While a weak handshake may imply that you’re a more passive person, a handshake that is too strong may prove that you’re too aggressive. To show assertiveness, keep your handshake firm and brief.
3. Crossed Arms
When your arms are crossed, it can give the impression that you’re too tense or closed off. By opening your arms to the side or placing them in your lap, it will appear that you’re more willing to engage in a conversation with your interviewer.
While it is a common habit, slouching makes you appear unengaged or lazy. To prove that you are interested and ready to work hard, be sure that you are sitting as tall as possible. Additionally, you can sit forward to show that you’re absorbed in the discussion.
5. Poor Eye Contact
If you’re unable to keep eye contact with your interviewer, it can imply that you are bored or you aren’t listening. By keeping a consistent, focused gaze on your interviewer, you can show them that you are paying close attention and that you understand what they’re communicating to you.
Throughout the interview, letting your mind wander may result in unintended fidgeting. Signals like scratching your head or checking your watch make you appear anxious and uninterested. If you’re prone to making these mistakes, channel your energy into hand gestures that show your passion and interest in the subject.