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Interview Tips: How to Use Body Language to Ace an Interview

by Vanessa Van Edwards
money & life

The Top Interview Tips How to Use Body Language to Ace an Interview

You’re interviewing for a position that you’ve had your heart set on for a while now. Even though you’re nervous, you know you can’t let that get in the way of your success.

You can prepare for your meeting by researching the company, printing out a few copies of your resume, buying a new suit, and thinking of some relevant anecdotes that you could relate to your interviewer. However, if your body language in the moment shows that you don’t believe in yourself, you may forfeit your chances of being hired.

To ace your interview, you need to be mindful of how you’re moving and physically placing yourself.

After all, according to a study by MIT Media Lab, people don’t remember what you said. The biggest takeaway they have from a first impression, is how they felt when they were with you. If you want your interviewer to look back on your meeting fondly, you’re going to have to utilize the right body language.

Let’s take a look at some quick tips for how to snag your dream job simply by communicating with your body.

Take a launch stance.

When you first get up from your seat in the lobby, you want to show your interviewer that you’re ready for the meeting. This can be achieved by practicing your launch stance beforehand.

Launch-Stance

If you want to have an ideal launch stance, let your arms hang loose, put your head up, keep your torso area open, and put your shoulders down. If you’re slouching, or you hang your head or cross your arms, it’s showing your interviewer that you’re shy and have low-self esteem. That’s the exact opposite of how you want to come across.

Perfect your handshake.

Touch is extremely important when you’re first introducing yourself to someone. In fact, one handshake fosters the same connection as a three-hour face-to-face meeting. Plus, people with excellent handshakes are viewed as being more extroverted and open-minded, as well as less neurotic.

The best handshake is going to be vertical. When you shake your interviewer’s hand, go in an up-and-down motion. It shows that you’re both equal, and that you’re on the same page. Also, keep your hand as dry as possible before your interview. If you have sweaty palms, take some tissues with you to wipe them off before you meet with your interviewer. If you’re drinking a bottle of water, hold it with the hand you don’t use for shaking.

You want your shake to be firm, but not so firm that you accidentally do the “death grip.” You can achieve the proper firmness by practicing on your friends.

Finally, your handshake should include a little bit of a motion. Just don’t do a huge up-and-down motion, because you might hurt your interviewer’s shoulder.

Use eye contact.

Use Solid Eye Contact as an Interview Tip to Make a Strong Connection

According to numerous studies, people who have strong eye contact are perceived as being persuasive.

While you’re speaking, make eye contact with your interviewer. If you hold your gaze, you’re going to build a connection with your interviewer. This is because eye contact increases levels of oxytocin.

When your interviewer asks you a question, it’s perfectly acceptable to avert your gaze and show that you’re thinking of an answer. If you wear glasses, don’t ever peer over them in an interview. It comes off as critical and your interviewer may feel like you are judging him or her.

Move your head to show you’re listening

When your interviewer is explaining the position and the responsibilities that it entails, you want to show him or her that you’re listening. To do this, maintain eye contact and tilt your head very slightly to the side–right or left is fine. Also, make sure you slowly nod intermittently to demonstrate that you’re taking in all the information. Be careful not to bobblehead.

Nailing your interview

Now’s the time to go out there and show your interviewer that you’re calm, confident, and the best person for the job. By paying attention to your body language, you can get started on your ideal career path.

Want to learn more about how to conduct yourself in personal and professional situations? Check out my website, Science of People, which will help you increase your social influence in and out of the workplace. Also, make sure you sign up for my CreativeLive class on The Power of Body Language.

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Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards is a published author and behavioral investigator at scienceofpeople.com. She’s also a keynote speaker, corporate consultant, and renowned online educator.