The main goal of a job interview is to allow your potential employer to get a sense of who you are. It also gives you the opportunity for you to showcase your qualification to the interviewer. A job interview can literally make or break your chances at landing a job. How you present yourself at a job interview is the employer’s chance to see if you portray what their company is looking for. With that said, it is important that you look your best and that your uses of body language or non verbal communication are in sync and sending out the right messages to your potential employer.
What is Body Language?
According to Daniel Gansle, “body language is in the realm of what is called nonverbal communication, or put simply, communicating without words…everyone uses nonverbal body language every day,” (site101.com) Some examples of nonverbal communication and body language that I am talking about are simple things such as smiling, your tone of voice, your appearance (did you put effort into what you look like for the interview), your facial expressions, your posture… I could go on and on. These simple things can literally break your opportunity for landing the job before you even speak to the person interviewing you.
My mother always told me that “an interview is your employees’ first impression of you and you better not blow it because sometimes you only get that one chance.” Employers are looking for body language and nonverbal communication to help them asses you during the interview. They are examining you from the moment that they walk up to you to the moment you leave. Your attitude, interests, outlooks, and more are being assessed based solely on your body language.
As the interviewee we have to remember to think about what we are doing. When we talk, we think about hat we say, but our nonverbal cues and body language are usually done unintentionally. Be particularly mindful if you have a certain “quirk” that you tend to do when you are under stressful situations. It is also important to remember where you are interviewing and with whom because gestures tend to have different cultural meanings. For instance…you wouldn’t want to shake someone’s left hand in Egypt because it’s designated for bodily hygiene use.
All you have to do is Google body language and nonverbal communication in a job interview to determine that there are a lot of do’s and don’ts out there. When it comes down to it, employers differ in what they are looking for. I did find this quiz that includes some of the reoccurring points that I found while researching for this post. (University of Kent) Some things that came up time after time were:
- Remember to smile: Especially when showing excitement and use your eyes when you smile.
- Dress for success: Make sure that your showered and dressed in business casual
- Be mindful not to roll your eyes
- Sit up straight
- For more do’s and don’ts please vist careerbuilder.com