When preparing for an interview, much of our focus is on what we’re going to say; how we’re going to answer questions about our career journeys and aspirations. But actually, a very important part of making that great first impression is about your body language!
First thing’s first: Make sure you’ve allowed yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Maybe even sit in a cafe with a cuppa to recover from any travel anxiety. No-one wants to be greeted by a flustered face, fresh from running a race for time.
Once you get there, walk in and be smiley and approachable from the get go - in the reception area, in the lift, you name it. These could be people that you’ll be soon to work with, and often your interviewer will ask the opinion of their team members.
When you meet your interviewer, do give a firm handshake (without cutting off their circulation). And, according to body language expert Mark Bowden, ‘gesturing with open palms at exactly navel height is an instant way to show that you are calm, assertive and confident.’
As you answer questions, explaining your business stories, don’t be afraid to express yourself using your hands (try not to hit anyone), and facial expressions. Obviously there is a line as you don’t want to intrude upon your interviewer’s personal space! But, none the less, this gives off the impression that you feel connected to your answers, whilst engaging your interviewer.
Show that you are listening to the interviewer when they talk about the business through your body language by nodding, and using your facial expressions to show your interest. They want to know that you have a genuine interest in the business, and that you’d love to get involved.
Prepare answers as well as possible to help calm your nerves in good time before the date of your interview, as this will help you to feel confident as you walk in there and give it your best shot.
We don’t have interviews every day so feeling nervous is natural, but go in there with your head held high feeling positive about the opportunity you’ve been given.
Best of luck!