Nonverbal cues can help or hinder your chances of getting hired
Have you ever had an interview where you thought you did great, but for some reason never got a job offer or even a call back? One reason why you lost out on the job could be your nonverbal cues.
What are nonverbal cues?
Nonverbal cues are body movements, facial expressions and movements that we subconsciously use to communicate with others.
Here are some tips for cues you should send (and not send) during your next job interview to bolster the impression you leave on the hiring manager:
- Don’t fidget.
Fidgeting is making small movements, generally of the hands and feet. These movements are normally associated with nervousness and impatience, which is the exact opposite of what you want to show a potential employer.
- Don’t cross your arms.
Crossing your arms conveys a sense of defensiveness and closes you off to those around you. People perceive those with crossed arms as having something to hide.
- Smile, but don’t fake it.
Smiling is an important nonverbal cue, but it’s important not to fake it. Others can easily detect a fake smile and they perceive it as a negative, whereas a genuine smile is welcoming and conveys a sense of friendliness.
- Make sure your posture is impeccable.
Sitting up straight conveys to others a sense of confidence and self-assuredness. Conversely, slouching and leaning back conveys a lack of interest or boredom.
- Offer your interviewer a firm handshake.
A limp, weak handshake conveys to others that you’re shy and lack confidence. A firm handshake conveys confidence. Be careful not to go overboard, though: An overly firm handshake is associated with egotism and a controlling personality.
- Make eye contact.
This is possibly the most important nonverbal cue in any situation – not just job interviews. People tend to view those who are unable to make eye contact as liars, untrustworthy, being aloof or having a lack of confidence.
Meeting the eyes of the person who is speaking to you shows that you’re listening and are interested in what that person is saying; it’s a sign of respect and understanding.
Keep in mind that in some other cultures, eye contact with those in positions of power is seen as a sign of disrespect, so make sure you do your research if you plan on interviewing for a position in another country.
The most important piece of information to remember – and one thing all of our advice has in common – is the importance of conveying a sense of confidence. Use this list of six nonverbal cues as a reminder of what you should and should not do during a job interview to show how confident you are that you are the right candidate for the job.