Many people prepare very well for an interview but they forget all about their body language as the nerves take over.
Indeed it can be surprising how much your body language can say about you without you even speaking at all. So it is a good idea to practice in advance and be aware of what to avoid. If you have an interview upcoming for an engineering or IT job, here are a few tips about how you can use body language in an interview to your benefit.
Tip 1 – First impressions count
It should go without saying that you should be smartly presented but make sure that you walk into the room or to meet your interviewer with confidence. Stand up straight, greet them with a smile, and a firm (but not crushing) handshake. This will immediately position you in their mind as confident and assertive.
Tip 2 – Eye Contact
Try to maintain eye contact with your interviewer. This will show the interviewer that you are interested in them and what they have to say. It will also subconsciously make them feel that you are more engaged with them. It’s true to say that some people do struggle with eye contact, particularly when feeling nervous. If you are one of these people and you feel like you are staring or you find eye contact difficult, try looking at their ear or their nose. It looks like you have eye contact with them from a few meters away but you may feel more comfortable.
Tip 3 – Angle yourself towards your interviewer
Make sure you sit with your shoulders squared and with your knees and feet pointing towards the interviewer as it shows that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. If you are pointing anywhere else like the window or the exit, they could subconsciously be reading the signals that you don’t want to be there.
Tip 4 – Open up your body
You may not know what to do with your hands but try resting them on your knees or the table if you are being interviewed at a desk. But importantly having an open stance indicates confidence, that you have nothing to fear and that you are an open and genuine person.
Tip 5 – Avoid distractions and fidgeting
If there is something interesting happening behind your interviewer or you feel nervous, again try and maintain eye contact. Don’t forget to keep your hands under control. Fiddling with your hair, clicking a pen, or wringing your hands could all betray your nerves so try and keep them under control.
Tip 6 – Relax but sit up straight
Showing you are relaxed in an interview is a great sign of confidence. It screams out loud that you are a capable individual who can handle whatever is thrown at them. But relax too much at your peril. Remember you are still in an interview. Slouching or sitting with your hands in your pockets may feel comfortable and relaxed but your body language is actually saying that you are not interested in the job.
So, in summary, remember that your body language is important, stand/sit up straight, keep eye contact, and try to point yourself towards your interviewer.
Good luck with your interview for that IT or engineering job.