Body language is an essential part of our communication mix, and technological developers are realising that. Just like voice recognition is become integral to our devices, body language is on the same track.
Earlier this year, Google revealed its new and innovative project: a Soli radar that reads body language. Using electromagnetic waves to pick up on subtle human body language and movements, the technology aims to make devices less interruptive while also automating some of our tasks.
According to psychological researcher and professor Albert Mehrabian, 55% of the communication of the meaning of feelings and attitudes takes place through the body language we use. Only 7% are attributed to the words, and 38% to tone and voice.
Our communication skills are put to the test when we’re interviewed for a job. To increase our chances of success, it’s critical that we not only prepare our verbal answers to questions but also practise assertive and positive body language.
These tips will help you master body language to effectively communicate your best performance.
The formal way of greeting someone is a handshake. There is so much meaning in that gesture, and mastering it can help you position yourself as a confident and assertive candidate.
Usually, the interviewer will be the first one to extend their hand for a handshake. Offer them a firm handshake with a good, solid grip, matched with direct eye contact. Nevertheless, make sure that your handshake isn’t too forceful.
First impressions are crucial when it comes to the world of business. One wrong gesture, and you might set yourself up for failure.
Your overall first impression is based on your posture. While you’re walking into the office, standing, or sitting, it’s important to keep a good posture. It exudes confidence and reliability. While you’re sitting in a chair facing the interviewers, make sure that your back is straight, and your shoulders are down and pulled back.
Avoid slouching, as this can be seen as a sign of disinterest in the conversation. Instead, show that you’re interested in what’s being discussed by leaning forward when you’re asked a question. Also, make sure that your body is facing the interviewer for effective communication.
Remember that you’re not only impressing the interviewer but are also being inspected by the whole staff. Don’t arrive late looking frazzled and look confident and approachable in front of your potential colleagues you’re passing by.
Perhaps one of the hardest yet essential interview body language tricks to master is eye contact. Some people find it intimidation to look the hiring manager in their eyes, but that can be a deciding factor.
It’s important to find a fine balance. Do not avoid eye contact at all costs, and in the same fashion, do not continuously stare into the interviewer’s eyes, as that can make them feel uncomfortable.
Maintaining eye contact naturally shows that you’re actively engaged in the conversation. If it’s a panel interview, focus your eye contact on the person who is asking you the question but make sure to take the time to look the other members in the eyes too, as it shows awareness.
The way you carry your handbags also speaks a lot about your personality and attitude, according to body language experts.
The most suitable way to carry your bag during an interviews in in your hand. Body language expert and speaker Patti Wood explains that this exudes assertiveness, good organisation, and efficiency. It means that your job is important to you and can be compared with carrying a briefcase – a classic business accessory.
This style of carrying your handbag also points to your outfit. Subconsciously, you want to draw the attention to your attire by not attaching the bag to it.
Pay attention to the small gestures you’re doing with your hands too. Placing your palms up shows openness and acceptance and that you are a trustworthy person. If your palms are facing downward, however, you might be seen as a firmer and more dominant person, which might not be the ideal power play during an interview.
Another good position for your hands is loosely clasped on the table in front of you, as this shows confidence, engagement, and openness.
Also, make sure you’re not too fidgety and aren’t doing too many movements with your hands and arms, as this can be perceived as anxious behaviour and unprofessional.
There is no need to be serious throughout the whole interview and appear cold. That doesn’t mean you should be a total goofball, but a genuine smile and a light joke where appropriate can significantly improve your prospects.
Smiling can be professional and is even encouraged. The hiring manager likely wants to create a friendly and welcoming work environment, and these days employers are looking for people with a personality.
Smile when you’re entering and exiting the room, as well as when the interviewer gives you a compliment or when they say something light-hearted. This shows that you not only have a sense of humour but are also appreciative of what the person opposite you has to say.
One of the best psychological tactics you can apply during your interview is mirroring the interviewer’s positive body language. It could look like mirroring a nod or a slight posture adjustment to demonstrate awareness.
This will make a good impression and will serve you as a hint whenever you’re not sure what body language to use.
Being able to communicate your professionalism, confidence, and trustworthiness through body language is a skill. In today’s saturated market, it’s a rather important one that will make a lasting first impression and will help you land that dream job!