Everything is a balancing act in an interview. You have to appear confident without being arrogant, maintain good eye contact without coming off as intense, and have a firm handshake that’s not aggressive. We’ve tackled most of these items separately here in our company blog but the way you carry yourself as a whole is truly the granddaddy of them all.
Exercise body awareness. Be honest…
Are you prone to anxiety?
Wear something that will ground you and make you feel safe. For example, if there is a bracelet your husband gave you, or a tie your wife purchased, wear it. Look at it or touch it to give yourself a quick reminder that someone’s in your corner routing for you. This will help you stay present and assist in restoring any wavering confidence.
Do you fidget?
Don’t. It conveys boredom, nervousness, or impatience, all feelings you don’t want to communicate. So if you’re a leg shaker, don’t even think about crossing them. Stop the shaking before it starts by keeping your feet planted on the ground.
If you’re a hair twirler or nail biter, rest your hands on the table or on your knees. Do not let those fingers creep up, it’s extremely distracting and unprofessional.
Do you often rush?
Slow down. Speak calmly and confidently. They’re lucky to have found you – remember that.
Additionally, once the interview concludes, you may be tempted to grab your things and get back to the safety of your car but, cool your engines. Calmly gather your items, rise from the desk smoothly, and get ready to show off your perfect handshake. Leave knowing you did your absolute best, trust that you nailed it.
Lost on what to do with your arms?
Rule of thumb, stay away from crossing them – it immediately gives the impression that you are closed off. If you’re not speaking, rest your arms and hands on the table or in your lap. Feel free to loosely and naturally fold your fingers but avoid tenting them or balling them into fists. That just makes you look tense and results in making everyone in the room feel awkward…and possibly threatened.
Don’t have the best posture?
Fake it. Fight the urge to hunch your shoulders or tuck in your chin, and sit up straight with your neck, chest, and stomach in alignment and on display. This signals that you are open and receptive. If this feels too rigid, try slightly leaning forward with your shoulders low, in order to communicate interest and engagement.
Your nonverbal communication is often more telling than your spoken words, so pay attention and be in sync. Make your body work with you and not against you.