Companies are taking longer to work through the hiring process, often taking six to eight weeks. One crucial step during this process is the interview stage. This is your chance to make a positive first impression and sell yourself. In addition to what you say, your nonverbal interview impression also matters.
1. Confident Handshake
If your interview happens in person, having a good handshake is important. Your handshake is a crucial part of the first impression formed by the interviewer. A good handshake isn’t too limp or firm. This is not a contest of who is stronger.
A limp handshake can give the impression that you are insecure. A painfully firm handshake can portray arrogance. Neither of these traits is good.
2. Just the Right Amount of Eye Contact
Getting eye contact right is about balance. Too much eye contact, and you come across as aggressive. It will turn the interview into a staredown that will become uncomfortable for everyone.
In contrast, not making enough eye contact signals to the interviewer that you are not interested or honest. You come across as distant, making it hard for the interviewer to connect. Take eye contact breaks to lessen the intensity.
3. Body Control and Posture
We communicate with others by how we hold our bodies. You want to communicate that you are open, engaged, and confident. To do this, sit upright, back straight, and shoulders back. Try not to cross your arms or legs in front of you. Angle your body towards the interviewer.
Slouched or leaning-back body posture gives the impression that you don’t care or feel overly confident. Crossing your arms or pointing away from the interview signals that you are closed off to them or disinterested in the interview.
4. Use Facial Expressions
You have emotions. Don’t be afraid to show them. This makes you more engaging, making it easier for the interviewer to connect with you. However, this does not mean overly exaggerating your facial expressions. Too much, and you will look clown campy or unhinged.
5. Nonverbal Cues in Virtual Interviews
Virtual interviews are more common now. You won’t have a handshake, but you can still pay attention to your eye contact, facial expressions, and body posture.
Set your computer up so that it is on a table or desk. It is helpful to place a box or other item underneath it to raise it. That way, the camera is closer to eye level with you. You will look less distorted, and it will be easier to make direct eye contact while talking.
Sit in a chair that doesn’t move or encourages you to slouch. Use the same approach of back straight, shoulders straight, and aimed at the camera.
Make a Great First Impression
What you don’t say during an interview is important. These four nonverbal communication cues are crucial in making a solid first impression. Practice having a confident handshake, good body posture, and making the right amount of eye contact.
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