Face-to-face or even video meetings with a recruiter or hiring manager can be quite stressful and, most likely, will play with your confidentiality level. Even those, that normally don’t have issues with speaking in front of a group of people and are certain about their strong interpersonal skills, have some doubts when going for an interview. What can you do to be seen as an assertive, trustworthy, and confidential person when your level of self-assurance is down?
Here are 9 tactics that will make your appearance stronger in front of an interviewer and will help you secure your next job.
Give your interviewer a convincing handshake.
That’s of course if you’re in a safe environment (COVID-19) and your interviewer takes the lead. Handshakes are a crucial part of your first impression, and they can make or break the first meeting.
There are several important rules to remember here:
- Firstly, always keep eye contact while shaking hands; do not glance down at the hand offered as you shake. Be firm but not overpowering.
- Secondly, repeat the person’s name in your greeting, as you shake hands and release your hand after 3-4 seconds. Just do yourself a favour and don’t count it out loud as this would be the opposite to natural behaviour and it will make you look nervous.
- Finally, remember that if you’re going for an interview, the interviewer should be the first one to extend a hand.
At the current times, it is probably safer not to give a handshake and introduce yourself without physical contact, but we will let you be the judge of the situation.
Mind the speed and your step size while walking
You would probably never have thought about it, but the way you walk plays an important role too. Only a few people are aware of the fact that body language helps recruiters in assessing the person applying for a job. Your way of walking can create the impression of being confident, serious and competent, or the other way around. Walking too fast will be indicative of nervousness while walking too slow could be interpreted as a lack of self-confidence. Some people say that making larger steps exhibits confidence.
Keep your back straight and your chin up
We strongly suggest checking your straight posture at home first and to let your mirror tell you if you do it right. Pull your arms slightly to the back while sitting or walking. You might feel down while doing this but only by looking at yourself, you may realise that you’re stronger than you think! Stooped stature will quickly reveal your lack of confidence.
Fearlessly sit at the chosen by your interviewer place
This is not a sitting cast, and no one should make their mind up about you by looking at the way you sit. However, at some point, they will start noticing your movements if you decide to sit uncomfortably in the first place (For example, on the side of the chair).
If the Recruiter won’t suggest a sitting place, ask directly where you can sit. Once you sit down, ensure your both legs are resting on the floor next to each other and your hands are always visible.
Have a notebook or a calendar and a pen with you
Not only to show your preparation for taking notes but also for using it to control your stress level. Some people start to shake their hands when speaking to the interlocutor, which reveals their nervousness. Trembling is difficult to control but holding an object in your hand may help. Here comes the pen. As long as you don’t tend to play with it so expressively that your interviewer focuses on it instead of you, holding a pen will help you to be just a bit more relaxed.
Keep your eye contact with the person you speak to
Natural eye contact signals openness and honesty, while not having eye contact indicates nervousness and the feeling that you want to hide something. This is why your gaze should last a few seconds, be natural and unforced. Often candidates, especially those who are afraid or make-up stories, do not make eye contact which doesn’t really help with the conversation flow. On the other hand - don't look at the recruiter all the time. Both staring at one point and not paying attention to your interlocutor can be interpreted as a lack of confidence, shyness or embarrassment.
Avoid touching your face
Remember to avoid touching your face, especially your mouth and nose as this behaviour indicates a lack of confidence. If during the interview, you put your hand over your mouth or scratch your nose, it will be a signal for the recruiter that you have heard something uncomfortable, or that you have lied. You should also not assume a closed posture, i.e. crossing your arms over your chest - this is a distrustful gesture that indicates uncertainty and defensiveness.
Asking the right questions to a future employer during an interview is a strong seal of a successful interviewing process and completely changes the dynamics of the discussion. Recruiters expect you to ask at least two questions. If you don’t ask them, you will be perceived as a candidate with little interest I the position or – what is worse – not committed and neglecting person, and therefore certainly not the one that the employer is looking for.
Nodding gives the impression of showing interest in the conversation. But don't just limit yourself to nodding. If you do this, you will be seen as a characterless candidate and will consequently be rejected. Oh, and remember that a smile is the most positive signal of all, it expresses your enthusiasm and positive disposition.
By using the above techniques, you will be perceived as a calm and self-confident person.
If at the interview, you will have one of those panic moments and suddenly forget what you want to say, these methods will let you cool down and come back to reality quicker. It is definitely worth testing them before the meeting and, as much as this might sounds strange, the best way of doing it is in front of the mirror. Remember, that experienced recruiters can read your body language well so being prepared for your interview is crucial.