Body Language

Master Your Body Language

Here are some tips about body language and projection of voice during an interview.

1. Firm handshake

The first thing you should do is give a firm and brief handshake to the interviewer, while keeping eye contact, accompanied by a clearly-uttered greeting.

A weak handshake will have a poor reflection on you and it may make people see you as untrustworthy or unreliable.

The handshake should be firm and show you are alert and professional in your approach. Pressing the interviewer's hand too hard or coming close to dislocating their shoulder is just as bad as a weak handshake! Both can convey over-keenness or a sense of unease.

2. Smile

Smiling is a great help during the interview, as because it gives the impression that you are positive, confident and likeable. There is no need to keep the smile during the entire interview because it would make you seem unconvincing.

Limit the smiling to the initial greeting, perhaps once or twice during the interview when the tone is a bit less formal  and of course, at the end of the interview as you get up to leave the room.

3. Clear Speech

It is essential that you speak clearly and at a suitable volume. If you have a tendency to talk  fast, try to slow down your speech.

Try pretending that you are during an interview and record yourself. Listen to the recording and look out for areas that need improvement and continue practicing. This exercise will help you feel more confident during the real interview.

4. Eye contact

Maintain constant eye contact during the entire interview. A lack of eye contact could ruin your interview because it can make you seem untrustworthy.

Look the interviewer in the eye while they are speaking and nod your head to acknowledge that you are listening to them, while ensuring that you fully understand what they are saying.

Keeping eye contact also means that you have to keep your head up, and in this way you would avoid the risk of mumbling.

5. Good posture

Good posture is an indication of a prepared, professional and confident individual.

This should be observed from the moment you sit down in the waiting room before the interview. The secretary or receptionist who greets you before the interview may have been instructed to note down some observations about the candidates while they wait.

Sit straight in your seat and keep your head high as you walk. While seated avoid crossing your legs (females) or opening them too wide (males). The ideal leg position for females is either to keep the knees together with the legs slightly bent together to the side, or legs bent at right angles (with feet facing the front).

Do not let the interviewer catch you slouched in the chair while you are waiting, so stay on your guard even when you think you are not being seen or observed.

6. No fidgeting

Fidgeting conveys the message that you are nervous, which indicates a lack of self-confidence.

Although it is perfectly understandable to feel nervous during the interview, it would be necessary to cover your discomfort as best as possible. Do not tap your feet, fiddle with your hair or nails, or rock in the chair before or during the interview.

Keep track of your body language during the interview to make sure you leave a good impression.

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