Could your body language be stopping you get your dream job?
The way you carry yourself can tell someone a lot about you.
The 7-38-55 Rule suggests that communication consists of the words you use (7%), the tone (33%) and body language (55%). If what you’re saying and the way you’re saying it aren’t congruent, people are more like to believe the way you’re saying it.
TL;DR Your mouth can be saying one thing, but the way you carry your body can be telling your future employer that you aren’t interested.
While we may not like to admit it, as humans, we do judge people and that’s not just limited to their appearance. By introducing subtle changes to your body language you can make yourself appear more confident, friendly, knowledgeable and, best of all, hireable!
The do’s and don’ts of good body language
Do make a great first impression
When you meet someone new, it takes just seven seconds for someone to make a judgement. Make those seconds count by presenting yourself well. Roll back your shoulders, take a deep breath and smile; you’ll look calm, confident and happy to start your interview.
Don’t take too much with you
With your first impression in mind, what you take with you to an interview can be key. Turning up to your interview with a mountain of items will make you appear stressed and disorganised. On a deep level, it can show that you don’t know how to prioritise, be it what to take to an interview or your perspective new workload. Limit yourself to one easy to manage bag to carry your CV, portfolio and other essential items.
Do lean in towards interviewer when you’re speaking
Leaning in a little closer when your interviewer is talking is a great way to show that you’re really listening. Don’t go over the top with it, just a slight lean into key points of the conversation implies enthusiasm.
Do sit or stand up straight and tall
Whether it’s a sit-down chat or a stand-up presentation keep your head up and your shoulders back. When you’re sitting up straight, you can breathe better, which in turn calms you down – great for an interview!
Don’t cross your arms/legs
Crossing your arms or legs during an interview is a huge no-no. This simple act can communicate things such as defensiveness, insecurity, closed-mindedness – none of which will land you a new role.
Do maintain eye contact
Maintaining eye contact is a great way to build a solid rapport with someone. As well as making you look confident and trustworthy, it’s also a strong indicator that you’re engaged in the conversation.
Top tip: If you don’t feel comfortable looking into someone’s eyes for that long, focus on an area just above, such as an eyebrow or area in the centre of the forehead. It’ll give you the appearance of eye contact without the awkwardness.
Don’t fiddle with your hands/neck/hair
Spinning jewellery, messing with your hair and touching your face screams nervousness to a future employer. Keep your hands open and in your lap, use them to communicate issues you feel strongly about… and keep them away from those earrings!
Subtly replicating the actions of your interviewer is another tip to build rapport. Mirroring can indicate that you are on the same page as the interviewer, that you share the same attitudes and the same goals.