Non- verbal communication can be very powerful. Especially in an interview where you may be paying more attention to your words than your body language. Going to an interview can be very nerve wracking so you may end up giving an un-firm handshake or shifting in your seat out of nervousness. This can create a skewed appearance to how you will be as an employee. Employers want someone that will be well adjusted and confident at their job. This is why it is important to go the interview calm and confident. Because this will convey in your body language.
Here are some tips to stay relaxed and calm in your interview:
- Smile: This should be a genuine friendly smile. Not a fake smile like you are hiding something. This shows that you are warm and open. The more relaxed you are, the more genuine a smile you will have. This will provide a great first impression to the interviewer.
- Handshake: Make sure to wait for the interviewer to shake your hand and then firmly shake their hand. Make sure your grip is not so tight that you hurt them but also you don’t want it to be like a floppy fish. When you shake their hands make eye contact with them so as to be confident in your greeting.
- During the interview: Make sure to sit up and keep a very confident posture. You want to not fold your arms or slouch as this can come across as unconfident and lazy. Also, you want to have your legs at an angle to the interviewer. This comes across as not as confrontational as sitting with your legs directly facing them. Make sure to keep your hand movements to a minimum so that you are not fidgeting or become distracting during the interview.
- Remember that employers may ask the receptionist how you were to them and while you were waiting. It is best to assume that you should maintain a professional appearance the moment you walk through the door.
- Make sure to shake hands with the interviewer at the end. Shaking hands at the end of the interview shows professionalism. In addition, thank the interviewer for his/her time.
- Be mindful of nervous behavior such as clicking a pen or fidgeting with your portfolio. This can be distracting and can ruin your chances for the job.
This is an important statistic to remember: “55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken.” Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-words/201109/is-nonverbal-communication-numbers-game
So, the next interview you go on, remember body language is really important. Try to stay calm and professional and keep your nervousness to a minimum.