Smart job seekers know the importance of choosing the right words when interacting with potential employers, but how important is nonverbal communication? Studies indicate that body language accounts for 55% of any response, therefore it is important to at least be conscious of your body, and to start thinking about how you are coming across.
First impressions are a vital part of the success of your interview, particularly when you only have a short amount of time to sell yourself for a position which could end up being extremely competitive.
Your gestures, posture and something as simple as eye contact can all have an effect on what you are saying and how you come across. If for example, a shy person was to tell you that they really enjoyed speaking in public and interacting with many people – do you think you would be convinced if their natural body actions suggested otherwise?
A strong entrance
Many people believe that the interview starts even before you get into the room, with individuals building an idea of you based simply on what you are wearing, and whether you smile or look nervous. The important thing to remember is that you never know who you could be standing next to in the lift or near you whilst walking into the building.
Ultimately, your body should tell anyone who might be watching that you are a calm and confident candidate. Make sure you are stood or sat up straight, shoulders back and look welcoming, often having your arms crossed can make you appear somewhat unapproachable.
Belong in the room
Whilst in the interview it is important that you show that you are listening, confident and focused on any questions that are coming your way. Sit up straight, but make so you are still comfortable and make eye contact with whoever is asking you the question – if there is more than one interviewer, respond to everyone by alternating your eye contact.
You may well be nervous, but do not forget to smile, it can make you look more relaxed, personable and comfortable in the environment and will ultimately make you come across more likeable.
If you’re a graduate looking to kick-start your career, have a chat with Discovery graduates and see how they can help get you started.