In surveys, interviewers consistently say candidates lack confidence, and especially, enthusiasm. While these traits are to some extent inherent in interviewee’s responses to questions and their overall demeanor, the appearance of confidence and enthusiasm can be improved through body language and nonverbal behaviors.
Eye contact with the interviewer, for example, is extremely important! One expert, recognizing that eye contact is hard to maintain in a one-on-one situation, says to look at interviewer’s nose. Avoid averting your eyes; we’ve noticed that interviewees often look up at walls and ceiling, as though expecting that answers to interview questions will appear there. Also don’t cast eyes downward.
The best way to show enthusiasm in a job interview is with a big, warm, consistent smile.
The best way to show confidence in an interview is with a strong, forceful voice.
Posture can help project confidence and enthusiasm. Sit up straight to look confident. And sit on edge of the seat to appear eager and enthusiastic.
Hand gestures should be subdued, but make sure you have some gestures to show enthusiasm. Where you might use large hand gestures when making a presentation, use smaller, non-distracting ones in an interview. If you can’t keep from talking with your hands and using big, distracting gestures, keep hands in lap or hold a pen.