You may be able to answer all of the questions the interviewer throws at you, deliver a perfect elevator pitch and show a wealth of knowledge about the company in question. However, as we have all heard a million times, actions often speak louder than words.
During the job interview preparation stage, body language can easily be neglected. The way we present ourselves during an interview may betray our actual abilities, so it is imperative to control our body language to ensure that what we say and what we do are not conflicting.
Take a look at the most common body language mistakes to avoid during your next interview:
- A weak or overly strong handshake
A handshake often opens and closes an interview; therefore, it may quite literally pay to make and leave a lasting positive impression with a firm, stable handshake. A limp handshake may lead to assumptions of disinterest and feebleness, whereas an overly strong one may come off as aggressive or pushy.
- A negative facial expression
Smile! Greeting an employer with a sullen, negative expression will not make you appear likeable. Take a moment to compose yourself before going in to interview, open with a smile and remain natural and positive, without overdoing it.
Poor posture is linked not only to low confidence, but also to laziness and boredom. It suggests that your interest in both the interview and the role is low and so adopting a straight, upright position will instead convey self-confidence and respect.
- Avoiding eye contact
Casting your eyes down for the duration of an interview is something interviewers agree they hate. While it wouldn’t be a good idea to continually stare at the person opposite you, regular eye contact shows that you are engaged in the conversation and that your self-esteem is high.
- Crossing your arms
Crossing your arms is a defence mechanism and suggests to an employer that you are uncomfortable in the situation. This may lead to the assumption that you are unfit to lead a team and that your social skills are poor, so it is important to remain open.
Constantly fidgeting can show that your nerves are getting the better of you. Although it is normal to experience nervousness prior to, or during, an interview, you should avoid moving around too much or playing with surrounding objects to minimise the possibility of coming across too anxious.