Body language is as communicative as your verbal answers and a strong combination of both can be a killer seller. Remember, interviewers will always observe body since they do not distort facts, whereas answering questions can be tailor made to suit the listener. Below are eight tips to help you present a good message.
1. First Impression Your first impression begins the moment you enter the office (or the building. You may accidently run into an interviewer or an office manager in the elevator and not know). You will want to come across as a confident person throughout the process which includes handshake, eye contact, posture, listening skills and smile.
Confidently greet and introduce yourself at the reception and state the purpose of your visit. When shown to the waiting area or meeting room, do not slouch or lean forward over your mobile. This shows boredom or lack of energy. Sit upright and be comfortable. When you meet the interviewer, stand up and introduce yourself with a warm, genuine smile and a firm handshake.
2. New Clothes and Shoes Be careful or wearing first time clothes or new shoes. New shoes and new clothes must be worm and tested at least once or twice prior to wearing them at an interview. Any discomfort can be caught during these couple of times. You do not want to be fidgety due to tight or loose fittings which can distract you from the interview. A formal attire with a light shirt and dark trouser - blazer with tie would be good for men while a business suit or shirt and trouser can be suitable for female. Avoid traditional attire unless UAE national.
3. Eye Contact Eye contact is very essential and displays confidence from the time you enter the office to your exit in the elevator (if the interviewer sees you off). Avoid looking around the room, or at your watch or not making eye contact at all since it shows apprehension or/and distraction. Eye contact shows confidence, focus and builds relationships. Make sure you build a strong connection. It will also allow your listener to be engaged. Ensure that you maintain eye contact with very person in the room or around the table and not only one person. While you maintain eye contact also display facial expression, rather than just staring. Be expressive and do not forget to smile. Smiling shows warmth.
4. Listen to Respond Listening skills is unfortunately a lacking skill at most interviews. A genuine and smart answer, will require attention the the question and if there is a meaning behind it. Listening and hearing are not the same. The interviewer will want to assess your interpersonal skills and your attentiveness to question plays an important part. Stay alert and responsive. You may want to lean slightly forward toward your interviewer. This sends the message that you are open, interested, and involved in the conversation. Giving a genuine nod can show you are listening.
5. Your Posture Our posture is the first clue and impacts the way we are heard. Slouching shows lack of energy and confidence. So make sure you are sitting straight with your shoulders back rather than up. Being stiff can show nervousness which most interviewers expect. But being overly stiff can make you appear uncomfortable or unfriendly. A glass of water and trying to relax (positive thoughts and memories) can help calm the nerves.
6. Hand Movements Let your personality shine by talking with your hands. Use your hands to communicate effectively and genuinely. However excessive hand movements draws too much attention to them, but optimal hand movements is expressive. If you are not confident of your hand movements then the best place for your hands to rest is on the table or desk in front of you. This helps prevent slouching and also assists if you need to take down notes.
7. Your Exit Make sure your exit is just as strong as your entrance, regardless of how your interview went. Repeat the steps from the entrance, including a genuine smile and a firm handshake, adding a “thank you” for your interviewer’s time. Place your chair back where you found it before you entered and close the door gently behind you when you leave the room. If the interviewer walks you to the exit or lobby, be sure to keep your energy up. You can use this time to ask general questions or make relevant small talk, whatever feels most comfortable. Maintain composure and posture until the elevator door closes and you are out of the interviewers sight.
8. Practice Makes Perfect Even if you know the above comes naturally to you, you may want to run through it at least once in front of the mirror or another person (family or friend). Sit in your computer chair and identify which position feels most comfortable. Practice your hand movements, eye contact, posture and exit. If you know your interview is online make sure of the below.
Tested internet connectivity, neat background for interviewer to see, your CV and notes on your desk in front of you, a locked door to avoid unwarranted barge-ins, a silent phone and of course your body language.
All the best.