How many times have you heard from your parents, “Actions speak louder than words,” while growing up? Back in the day when we apologized to a sibling for some squabble, we were told our words meant nothing unless they were followed by actions showing there was true remorse. Well, that same basic concept can be carried over to the job hunt. During the interview process, your interviewer will not only be listening intently to your responses, he/she will also be watching for nonverbal cues indicating if you are really interested in the job or not. Follow these tips to help ensure you are communicating your interest in a job through your actions, not just your words.
Use a Firm Handshake
There are many negative connotations about a limp handshake, and one of them is a lack of interest. When you meet your interviewer, make sure you firmly shake his/her hand. This seemingly small thing can make a big impact on a hiring manager when he/she is trying to decide if you’re interested enough and a good fit.
Smile and Make Eye Contact
Smiling and making eye contact is one of the simplest things you can do to show your interviewer that you’re happy to be there and learn about the organization. It also conveys honesty, likeability and confidence – all good things that hiring managers appreciate and remember!
Pay Attention to Posture
Sitting straight and in a neutral stance is great for interviews, because it shows you’re actively listening and soaking in what your interviewer has to say. According to Forbes, body language experts agree that leaning back conveys boredom, while leaning forward and crowding the interviewer makes you seem concerned or even threatening.
Send a Prompt Thank You
This is interviewing 101, but it bears repeating – always send a thank you email or letter immediately after your interview! The quicker it is sent, the better because it shows enthusiasm. If you plan to send a handwritten note, bring the card or stationary with you, so you can write with the interview fresh in your mind and immediately send it. If you plan on sending an email, send it the same day as your interview, too.
In a job interview, your nonverbal communication is just as, if not more, important than your verbal communication. If you follow these tips and remain cognizant, you are sure to impress your interviewer and better communicate your interest in the position.