5 Interview Tips for Non-Verbal CommunicationJune 2nd, 2011 | Interviewing | 1 Comment »
You may have some awesome answers lined up for your interview and a great resume to back you up, but is that enough to get you the job of your dreams?
Non-verbal communication plays a huge role in your interview, and most of the time, it consists of things you don’t even think about. Obviously you don’t want to be obsessing over these things during the interview, but browse these tips, rehearse and practice them, and keep them in the back of your mind for ultimate interview success.
An obvious non-verbal cue. You’ve probably been told many times that the handshake becomes part of the first impression someone gets of you. You’ve heard it shouldn’t be limp or crushing. But do you know how you yourself really shake hands? Are you conveying confidence and professionalism? If you’re not sure, practice your handshake with a friend or family member.
Another fairly obvious non-verbal form of communication. It’s important to maintain good eye contact to portray confidence and respect, as well as interest in what the interviewer is saying. However, remember it’s natural to look away from the eyes every now and again, so make sure you don’t end up staring, which may be off-putting to the interviewer.
To show that you’re serious and ready to answer any question, sitting up straight is important. Even if the interview becomes more casual or relaxed, be careful about resting back in your chair or leaning on the arms or table, as the interviewer may believe you are too relaxed. Leaning slightly forward in your chair is often acceptable, however, as this shows you are engaged in the conversation.
You may be nervous or having a bad day, but a smile on your face shows your enthusiasm, positivity, and friendliness. Avoid a fake smile – a real smile is not just in the mouth, but also in the eyes and facial muscles – so it’s obvious if you don’t really mean your smile.
Hand gestures to emphasize your words and further communicate your meaning shows your great communication skills, as long as the gestures aren’t too big or too often. Avoid sweeping your hands through the air or waving them in the air, because this can be distracting, bordering on over-enthusiastic.
Make sure you’re aware of any nervous habits you have, such as playing with hair, scratching your face, shaking your legs, drumming your fingers, or swiveling in your chair. People often do these things completely subconsciously, so you may need a friend to help you recognize these actions. These habits not only give away your nervousness, but also can be distracting to what you’re saying. The more aware you are of these nervous ticks, the more likely you’ll kick the habit.