Here on the GXY Search blog we’ve discussed a whole lotta things regarding job hunting. We’ve talked building your brand, social media (including pinterest-are you on there yet? Cos if you’re not you are missing out!!), salary, dress codes…the list goes on and on.
While we have mentioned many aspects of personal presentation, one thing we are yet to touch on is your physical mannerisms, in particular when fronting up to an interview.
A recent article on cbsnews.com notes “Much of the information that we communicate happens non-verbally via subtle signals we put out with our posture, gestures and attitude. It’s no surprise, then, that your success in a job interview depends quite a bit on almost everything except what you actually say.”
Let’s say you are looking at fashion jobs. No one in the Melbourne fashion industry (or any fashion industry for that matter) will take too kindly to a slouching, scowling applicant. First impressions are so important so take a little pride in how you present yourself.
Often your first gesture upon entering an interview room is the classic handshake. It’s critical you nail this bad boy. Don’t squeeze too hard, but don’t go limp ether. A firm grip suggests you are confident but not over aggressive. If nerves have got to you, make sure you dry your sweaty palms beforehand…
Once you’ve sat down be aware of what you are doing with your hands. Don’t fiddle. Don’t touch your face. Even though we often do this self-consciously, touching your nose or mouth will freak out any germophobes. It can also be read as a sign of dishonesty, and while you can always stretch the truth a tad, flat-out lying wont lead to anything good.
Keeping your hands on the table or in your lap will also help with another body language no-no. Crossing your arms. Probably the most obvious sign of defensiveness or passive aggression. Seriously, we get the whole Gen X Y, tortured youth thang but surly misdemeanours are sooooo out right now.
You will also convey confidence and interest by making eye contact. However, don’t overdo it-staring makes other people super uncomfortable. Be wary of treading that fine line-there’s nothing worse than making natural eye contact then realising you are making eye contact then being suddenly darting your eyes away-you WILL look shifty, and shifty people are not high on a would-be employers list. Similarly don’t let your eyes wander round the room too much-you’ll come off bored and/or flaky.
Excessive nodding will also make you come across a little cuckoo. You are not one of those bobble-headed ornaments found on a car dashboard. Nodding too much makes you appear like you are sucking up or that you are simply nodding for the sake of it, attempting to disguise that you have no frickin clue what’s going on! Nod when required and when appropriate-it will prove you have your own opinions and are paying attention.
So next time you go for the job of your dreams stand up straight, smile and follow these golden rules-your confidence and effort will be truly appreciated.