Crack your next interview with these 5 secrets of body language
vanessa van edwards
How are you preparing for another great interview? Most of us think of verbal responses: what to say, stories and perfect answers. Very few of us think how we want to meet.
As a human behavior researcher, I spent the last decade leading original research into proven strategies and social tactics that will help you succeed in my behavioral science Learning People. I worked with several Fortune 500 companies who taught them my versatile, science-based human behavior manuals, and a completely new approach to call building.
Now I want to give you my 5 favorite body language tips that will help you get the next interview.
Interview Tips #1: Hands First
When we get to know someone, we always look at the hands first. This is especially important in an interview situation because your interviewer might try to measure if you want to shake hands. Just do it! Once you see your interviewer, guide with your hand and give them a nice, short hand stroke.
Insider tip: Do not forget to finish on a hand print. We usually shake when we meet someone, but you want to seal the deal with a last touch point. Be sure to shake hands, even if you have met the person before – this is a very warm welcome.
Interview Tips #2: Claim Your Space
When we are upset, we tend to do “turtles”, that is, when you lower your chin and bring your arms less space. We also try to make as few numbers as possible – women go through the legs, men fold their hands over their chest. This shows that the caller is uncertain and it seems that you have something to hide. Raise your hands, stand up your legs and do not let your body show your tension. If possible, always use armrests to help you turn your shoulders.
Tip: if you have a choice of places – you will never choose a couch. This makes it very hard to find a place. Always look at the highest seat in the room, with high back and bad rest. You are as big as a chair.
Interview Tips #3: Front Face to Face
When talking to someone you want to change your fingers, your bust and your head toward them. Fronting is a nonverbal sign of respect. When you are really engaged with someone, you fix your entire body with their head, head to head, bust to bust and leg to feet. In an interview, make sure you turn to the interviewer. If you have many people in an interview-angle towards the person speaking to show respect.
Inner Tip: This is also important for your LinkedIn profile picture. We analyzed thousands of photographs and found people like photos of people who were facing the camera.
Interview Tips #4: Smile in Right way
Many traditional interview tips say people should smile all the time in interviews, but that’s not always a good idea. What’s better is the right smile. You do not want to make false laughs – it comes as impermissible. Try to find authentic ways to smile, tell stories about an old colleague you like, smile when you meet someone for the first time, because you are really happy to meet them. Try to discuss the topics you are really passionate about in order to show true happiness.
Tip: Begin and finish a meeting by saying “I’m so happy to meet you” or “I’m happy to be here.” This is positive and gives you a good chance to smile.
Interview Tips #5: Gaze
We all know that eye contact is important, but there is a sweet spot for eye contact. When we look at someone, we produce oxytocin – the connection hormone. But we do not want to make much contact with the eye. In Western cultures sweet country is 60 to 70% of the time. So do not be afraid to get in sight or look around while you talk – just make sure you’re eye contact as they talk to you.
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