Improve Non Verbal Communication for an Interview
Body language is a very powerful tool when you want to ace an interview. This article will help you improve your non-verbal communications, making a better impression on others during an interview. Remember: First impressions are lasting impressions!
- Move your hands frequently while talking to help you express a point. Take care not to overly use your hands as this can become distracting for the interviewer, and make it harder for them to follow you. Here are some examples of commonly used gestures:
- smiling at someone
- waving your hands to greet someone
- waving your hand to get someone's attention
- pointing towards something
- nodding your head
- shaking your head sideways
- making different signals with your fingers or hands
- Keep your posture open and appropriate. If you are sitting, keep your back straight and avoid slouching. Don't cross your arms across your chest ---- this is a defensive position. Paying attention, listening well, and leaning forward shows you are interested in what the interviewer has to say. Leaning back demonstrates aloofness and rejection. Ahead straight up signals a neutral attitude, while a head down shows a negative and judgmental attitude. Be sure you watch your posture, as the interviewers will be looking for how you present yourself!
- Look the interviewer in the eye when you are speaking. This is a direct and powerful form of non-verbal communication. The direct gaze of the sender of the message conveys openness. It elicits a feeling of trust. Downward glances are generally associated with insecurity. Eyes rolled upward are associated with fatigue or boredom. Not looking into the eyes of the other person, constantly looking down or around indicates dishonesty, guilt, and fear.
- Keep your appearance looking professional and tidy. This speaks a lot about the kind of person you are, your views, your lifestyle, etc. Have a good attitude and be enthusiastic, confident, captivating, and passionate. Interviewers will be looking for these types of characteristics ---- this shows that you will probably be a good employee. Wear modest clothes that meet business standards.
- For women, avoid wearing too high heels; low-necked clothing that reveals too much cleavage and is considered inappropriate; dresses or skirts with lengthy slits; clothing that tightly clings to the butt; skin-tight garments; low-rise skirts or jeans; see-through clothing; etc.
- Watch your para-language. Para language is the manner or attitude with which you are communicating. Here are a few things that you should look out for:
- Tone: Is your tone expressive and reflective?
- Inflection: Stressing on the right word and syllables to bring out the correct sound enhances
- Pitch: Is your voice too deep or is it high pitched?
- Rate of Speech: Do you speak too quickly? Do you speak too slowly? Do you mumble?
- Volume: are you audible, too soft or too loud?
- Enunciation: Do your words have distinct endings --- especially similar sounding words?
- Never interrupt while your interviewer is answering your question.
- When asking questions, bring the mic closer to you, otherwise the question may go without notice.
- Avoid repetitive questions.
- Take notes.
- Nod frequently.
- Keep your hands out of your pockets.
- Smile as you speak.
- Don't tap your feet.
- Don't clear your throat repeatedly.
- Don't bite your lips or nails.
- Fillers: Words like "umm", "aah", "aaa" are to be used to buy time and gather thoughts. Avoid these as much as possible!