How well you answer the job interview questions is not the only thing that will get you the job. Your body language or non-verbal cues can also make or break your interview. Things like your body posture, facial expressions, and physical behavior say a lot about who you are, your level of professionalism, and whether you are the right person for the job. Here are some things that you need to avoid during that very important job interview.
Not Making Eye Contact
This doesn’t mean you have to stare into your interviewer’s eyes the whole time you’re talking. It’s simply looking at them when they’re talking and when you’re saying something. Hold their gaze when you shake their hand, looking straight into their eyes with confidence and certainty. Shifty eyes won’t help you win the confidence game, either.
Your posture says a lot about you and your current mood. Slouching simply sends the message that you’re lazy or uninterested. It can even send the message that you’re feeling too relaxed. Remember that the impression that you’re aiming for is relaxed and confident; anything less or more than that is not good.
Always sit tall, and lean forward when speaking. This makes you look engaged and enthusiastic. Avoid leaning your body towards the door as well, because this makes you look like you can’t wait to bolt out the door the first chance you get. Also, avoid fidgeting too much because this can be distracting to the interviewer.
Nobody wants to talk to someone who wears a permanent frown on their face. It doesn’t make a nice first impression, and it can send the wrong message to your interviewer. If you have a naturally serious look, make the extra effort to wear a nice smile, no matter how small.
Smile, especially when you talk about your kids, your family, or your life’s passions. It just does not translate well to see no trace of happiness when you talk about people or things you love. How hard can it be to lift the side of your lips when you say, “I feel great!” or “Thank you!”, right?
This body language simply sends the message that you’re guarded and closed off. It can also mean defensiveness or resistance, which is something you don’t want your interviewer to think about you throughout the entire interview. Just keep your arms resting comfortably at your sides. This makes you look more relaxed and more open.
Playing with Hair / Touching your Face
In case you’re forgetting, you’re actually speaking with a potential employer, not somebody you want to be in a relationship with. Get rid of any mannerisms, such as toying with your hair, touching your face, excessive nodding, or even biting your nails. You’re there to convince them that you’re the perfect person for the job. Keep it professional.
Having Too Many Hand Gestures
You may not notice this at first, especially if you have too much nervous energy inside you or if you’re really enjoying answering the interview questions. Having too many hand gestures is also something that you should avoid. Too much pointing, waving, or chopping can be seen as aggressiveness or pushiness, not to mention they can be really distracting.