You’re in the process of preparing for your interview, and you already have the basics nailed down. You’re ready for tough questions about your experience and ambition, and you know that you need to project nonverbal cues that signal confidence, competence, and friendliness. Your firm handshake and direct eye contact are locked and loaded, and your smile has never been more radiant. But here are a few subtle non-verbal gestures you may not have considered. Add these to your list and you’ll gain one more slight edge over your competition.
Form a personal connection with your chair.
Chances are, you won’t conduct this interview standing up. So when you’re offered a chair, take it. And take the entire chair, don’t just perch at the edge. Make sure your rear end is deeply planted and squarely settled in the middle of the seating area, and envision your body filling the space from one armrest to the other. Relax your arms at your sides and keep your shoulders rolled back and as far from away from each other as you can get them. The chair is your friend, and it belongs to you for the duration of the interview session.
Eye contact is a must, but don’t take this tip too literally. If you do, you’ll end staring hypnotically at your interviewer with an unblinking gaze that’s unnatural. Keep your gaze open, frank, friendly, and fearless. Take in your interviewer’s entire face and consider their expression. If you’d like to break your gaze, glance down at her hands for a moment. If no place seems like a safe resting point, fix your gaze on the bridge of your interviewer’s nose.
If you naturally talk with your hands, that’s great. Let those hands fly. Bring them up and flail them around in whatever way seems natural. But if you don’t know what to do with your hands, try this: Keep them relaxed on your armrests and open (no balled fists). From time to time, place your elbows gently on the table and rest your hands in front of your body. Try not to let them come between the interviewer’s gaze and your face (in other words, don’t touch your face or hide it from view).
This is a very subtle interview move that can convey volumes of information about your experience and confidence: Instead of blurting answers to your interviewer’s questions, pause for two full seconds between the end of their sentence and the beginning of yours. Actually count out two full Mississippi’s. Take that moment to breathe deeply and collect your thoughts.
Ace your interview and make a great impression by using every tool at your disposal. For more on how to make this happen, reach out to the Gastonia job search experts at PSU.