There are tons of “tricks” out there to win over interviewers with strategic body language, but focusing on controlling the little things is going to make you more nervous than you already are. Rather than trying to game the system, try these common-sense pointers from experienced hiring managers.
The key to making a good impression is confidence, which can only come from being well prepared. Research the company thoroughly (in the age of the internet, there’s no excuse not to!) and practice your interviewing skills.
Don’t write a script, but anticipating common interview questions—and having a few bullet points to help answer them – can go a long way toward keeping you calm and focused at your interview.
First impressions count. Your interview starts when you walk into the building. Give yourself enough time to get there that you don’t enter looking frazzled and disorganized. (A practice drive can help.) Greet the receptionist pleasantly and try to relax while you wait. Take a few deep breaths and mentally rehearse your game plan. Remember, you don’t know who might already be keeping an eye on you.
Greet your interviewer with a pleasant smile and a firm – but not too firm – handshake. And make sure your hand is not sweaty. Resist the urge clench your fist nervously. Keeping your hand flat on your lap can help or keep a tissue in your pocket.
Own your space. One measure of confidence – without arrogance – is the appropriate usage of space. Don’t slouch or use body language that makes you smaller. You’ll appear timid and unassertive. On the other hand, don’t spread out like you own the place.
Resting grumpy face. Be mindful of your facial expressions. Take a look in the mirror before your interview to make sure that what you think is a neutral expression doesn’t appear sullen or angry. Smile when appropriate, nod in agreement. Pay attention to what the interviewer is saying, instead of thinking about what to say next.
The eyes have it. Make eye contact, but not too much. Don’t glance sideways or around the room. It makes you look bored or deceitful. On the other hand, unrelenting eye contact can seem aggressive. Balance is key. Have a casual conversation with a helpful friend to gauge what appropriate, comfortable eye contact is like.
Watch your tone - When people get nervous, they tend to talk faster and at a higher pitch. Remember to breathe and take your time. It will make you appear more confident. And you will be less likely to blurt out answers thoughtlessly.
Remember – prepare, breathe and be confident and you’ll be a master of non-verbal communication and make a memorable impression. To learn more about acing the interview contact Sparks Group today!