Can Body Language Increase My Chances in a Job Interview?

Research indicates that body language accounts for over half of how we communicate and portray ourselves. Could this be the reason why so many people are not doing as well as they should during a job interview?

First impressions count, especially when you’re meeting a recruiter for the first time. An awkward handshake or lack of eye contact can drastically lower a candidate’s chances of being shortlisted before he or she has even said a word!

This happens in all industries, whether you’re in management consulting or advertising. Bouncing back from an unfavorable situation is extremely difficult, especially if the industry you’re in is highly competitive.

What is effective communication?

Effective communication is when an individual’s speech and body language are in sync. As a result, both elements complement each other and increase the impact of a point or idea. In a job interview setting, some applicants enter with a confident mindset, but show signs of insecurity such as slouched shoulders and nervous leg movements.

What type of body language should I be displaying?

There are several ways to ensure one is displaying the right type of body language; the kind that lets the interviewer know that you’re serious about your career and you have what it takes to fill the vacant job post

tick When it comes to the handshake, use a firm grip and make eye contact. Don’t quickly walk away afterwards, which shows that you’re in a hurry.
tick From time to time, reciprocate the recruiter’s facial expressions and movements. This shows the interviewer that you understand what he or she is saying and you’re on the same page with his or her views on the topic.
tick Eye contact should be consistent. Balance is the key to making eye contact work for you during the interview. One shouldn’t make eye contact too long, or quickly look down after. Casual eye contact is the best way to go, which shows that you are confident and relaxed.
tick Avoid shaking your leg, even if the recruiter can’t see below the desk. Such movements resonate with the rest of the body, which can trigger negative body language. Instead, square your body forward and face the recruiter directly (not to the side).
tick Hand and arm movements should be natural and controlled. Flailing one’s arms may come across as signs of instability. Additionally, it may also look over the top. On the contrary, lack of small movements can make one seem stiff and nervous.
tick Keep grooming and dressing levels as sharp and clean as possible. This can add to the impact of one’s body language, since such elements are external factors.
tick End the job interview on a positive note. If you started the interview in a confident manner, end it the same way. On the other hand, if you only started to warm up midway, it is essential to recover and complete the process with the kind of impression you had in mind.

Practice, Practice, Practice

When it comes to a successful interview, taking notes and reading last minute body language tips aren’t enough. Setting up a mock interview is one of the best methods to minimize the risks associated with flimsy body language. Good luck!

ConsultingFact.com provides services to applicants who need help landing a management consulting position. Part of their services includes the external factors of the interview process, such as body language. There are free guides available for individuals who are looking for an e-book that covers how to write a consulting cover letter and resume, and case interview frameworks.

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