8 Body Language Mistakes to Avoid In Your Next Interview
After preparing for your interview, the last thing you want to do is ruin your first impression. Body language is a huge part of communication and your interview. So it’s important to avoid making a few common body language mistakes. If you want to have a great interview you need to avoid these 8 common body language mistakes.
1. Lack of Eye Contact:
Leading psychiatrists found that eye contact can trigger feelings of being scrutinized. This may cause us to feel self-conscious and look away. So it’s understandable if you’re nervous, you may forget to make frequent eye contact. However, employers can see you as untrustworthy or insecure if you don’t make frequent eye contact. Make sure you’re looking in the eyes of everyone in your interview periodically so they see you as confident and trustworthy.
Plant your feet firmly on the floor and keep your back straight to project a sense of confidence and exude power. A lot of people make the mistake of slouching during an interview because they feel unsure of themselves but this makes employers see you as someone with low confidence, which may cause them to question your ability to take on the role you’re applying for effectively.
3. Checking the Time on a Watch, Phone, or Wall Clock:
This one may seem obvious to some but you’d be surprised how often people make the mistake of checking their watch, phone, or all clock regularly during an interview. This makes it seem like you aren’t taking this interview seriously and that you have something more important to do, like run to your next interview at a company you’d rather work for. Do yourself a favor and give yourself plenty of time in your schedule for each interview so you won’t feel desperate to check your watch, phone, or the wall clock during your interview.
4. Crossed Arms:
If you want to appear defensive or uncomfortable, feel free to keep your arms crossed during your interview. However, if you want to seem less closed off, make a conscious effort to keep your arms apart. Laying a hand in your lap and one on the table is always a safe bet if you have “not-sure-what-to-do-with-my-arms” syndrome.
5. No Smiles:
Are you unhappy or unfriendly? Because, if you forget to smile regularly during the interview process, that’s how you’ll come across. Seeing somebody smile stimulates our brains’ mirror neurons, which induces a smile in response and creates a mutually positive experience. If you want your interviewer to have a positive impression of you and a positive memory associated with your interview, make sure to smile regularly!
6. Excessive or Exaggerated Nodding:
You want to show that you’re listening but a lot of times people will take this too far and teeter into the excessive or exaggerated nodding zone. When you nod excessively or in an exaggerated manner you appear like you don’t fully understand something or that you’re not really listening. Limit and control your nodding so it only happens occasionally, when it’s relevant to the conversation, and during appropriate moments if you want to show that you’re listening intently and thoughtfully.
7. Unengaged Handshake:
One of the oldest mistakes in the interviewing or first impression book is to offer up an unengaged handshake when you’re first meeting someone. Subconsciously this makes people see you as untrustworthy, unenthusiastic or lacking confidence. Maintaining a firm grip that is neither limp nor finger crushing accompanied by eye contact and two to four shakes will give you the positive boost that only subtle body language cues can.
If you want to appear nervous, insecure, uncomfortable, or defensive feel free to fidget all you want but if you want to project poise, confidence, preparedness, and calm under pressure try to keep the fidgeting to a minimum. You won’t want to stay rigid but if you’re listening or if you’re afraid you’ll fidget too much, keep your hands in front of you either in your lap or on the table.
Don’t let body language mistakes stand between you and your dream job! Avoid these 8 common body language mistakes in your next interview if you want to appear calm, prepared, confident, and qualified.
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