Many think that the most important aspect of a job interview is what you and the hiring manager say during an interview. This is because your words express your experiences and qualifications. What you might have not considered is that some of the most important elements of a successful job interview is what you do not say, your interviewing nonverbals. Almost all jobs require an in-person interview, and your appearance, active listening gestures, and facial communication will speak as loud as your words.
Look Good for Your Interview
Although it might sound vain, your appearance is critical to an interview. This does not mean that you have to be a model or incredibly attractive; this means that proper attire and cleanliness produce interviewing nonverbals that communicate your personal discipline and how much you care about the interview. If you are dirty or unkempt, the interviewer might think that you are disorganized person and that you are not detail oriented. This is why it is important to make sure that your clothes are neat and clean and you are properly groomed. A good rule for any interview is to dress a little above what you think is appropriate for the interview. By so doing, you communicate that you are highly interested in the job. Additionally, the first impression of you will be your bright, neat appearance. Get a friend or family member to check your appearance before an interview to make sure that you look your best.
When you first meet the interviewer(s), shake their hands and give each one a smile while maintaining eye contact. Do the same after you conclude the interview. These interviewing nonverbals set a tone of friendliness and unity at the beginning and end of the interview.
Active Listening Gestures
The best relationships are based on active listening. Make sure to listen carefully to what the interviewers are saying. Nod your head to show that you understand what is being asked of you but make sure to not be a bobble head during the interview! Proper eye contact shows that you are invested in the conversation and is one of the most important interviewing nonverbals. Maintaining good eye contact means that you are looking at the one speaking for much of the time they are speaking. Do not stare at the speaker the entire time. Instead, break contact every once in a while and give a facial expression that shows that you are considering what the interviewer is saying.
Holding your hands in your lap is appropriate during an interview. Folding your arms can signify in some settings that you do not agree or are in conflict with what is being said, so avoid this gesture. Maintain good straight back posture and do not slouch your head or neck. Leaning forward slightly can show your interest in the conversation while slouching in a chair can show a casual commitment to the event. Proper body language is a critical part of interviewing nonverbals that will communicate your interest and investment in the job interview.
While you are listening actively during the interview, make sure to control your facial communication. You might not realize how your face can quickly show your inner emotions. In many cases, you will respond to a question with micro-expressions that communicate exactly how you are feeling during an interview. These facial expressions are short bursts of muscle movements that show displeasure, stress, happiness, or any other response to a question or experience. You can help to control these micro-expressions when you properly prepare yourself for an interview. When you plan responses to tough questions, you avoid appearing stressed or frustrated during an interview. Additionally, you train your mind to avoid negative facial expressions because you feel confident and ready for anything that the interview will throw at you. It is important to always remember that you cannot control what the interviewer will ask you, but you can be confident in yourself and your abilities. This confidence will help your facial expression maintain a positive, strong appearance, which will contribute significantly to excellent interviewing nonverbals.
Even if you are not the best public speaker, take confidence in how much your interviewing nonverbals including your good appearance, active listening gestures, and good facial communication will show the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the job.