Body language during an interview can speak volumes about your personality. Not only does it represent the first impression that you give but it’s probably just as important as the answers that you are giving to the interviewer. So what particular mistakes should you avoid in your next interview?
There are just two opportunities to get this right and your interviewer will remember them both. The first mistake people make are to give too weak a handshake, meaning a missed opportunity to make that strong bold first impression that you wanted. Instead, when you first meet, give them a strong confident handshake and your interviewer will soon begin to get an idea of your personal brand.
Once seated, resist the temptation to lean right back into your chair and make yourself overly comfortable. Slouching into the chair or leaning to one side in the interview room can be interpreted as being indifferent or too relaxed. On the other hand remaining upright with your shoulders back and being comfortable will set the tone for the interview ahead.
Lack of eye contact
An interview can feel intimidating anyway, so it can be tempting to look away so you don’t have to continuously lock eyes with the interviewer. However continuously avoiding contact can make it difficult for you to establish a good rapport between you both. Ensure that you keep eye contact, especially when being asked or responding to questions, but take moments in between to break contact.
Although a nerve-wracking experience, it is normal to forget to do something as simple as smiling during the interview. Ensure that you relax into the flow of the interview and smile to give a positive impression.
It can be a habit for some to fidget continuously, especially when in an interview environment. Shifting in your seat, playing with nearby objects and foot-tapping are just some of the common things that can make you appear uncomfortable. To overcome this try clasping your hands to the side of your body or on the table to prevent distractions.
While it’s comforting to you, this actually can put a barrier between you and the interviewer, or worse make you appear bored. Instead keep your arms open as this will give your body language an easy and relaxed tone.
Invading personal space
This can be difficult to judge, but often sitting or leaning too close to the interviewer can come across as too forward and ultimately distract the interviewer from what you are saying. Instead make sure there is plenty of space between you and the interviewer.
During the interview, difficult questions could be posed, as the interviewer assesses your ability to cope with a challenge. Your natural instinct could be to frown, or even worse, use verbal crutches to tackle the question. This will make the situation worse. Instead, if you are confused, or don’t know how to answer the question straight away, take a moment and then ask your interviewer to clarify or reword the question. This will buy you the time to think about your answer and how to respond.
Nodding in agreement
As the interview progresses you could find yourself nodding more and more to what the interviewer is saying. However, if this goes on for long, the interviewer will be less able to read those moments where you share an understanding of a particular point of view. Instead, remain attentive and conscious as to what you’re agreeing on.
Body language is difficult to control, but it could well be the deciding factor between the interviewer asking you to the next stage of the assessment process, or not. We hope that this advice will mean that you will leave a positive and lasting impression on your interviewer. We know it will certainly help if you ever decided to apply for a graduate job or internship at Enterprise Rent-A-Car.