Body Language for the Beginning of Your Interview
Getting a job involves more than wanting to be crew then being crew. There's a chunk in the middle that involves becoming crew. The job hunt. Here is a fab article by Thomas H Greigwhich offers some serious food for thought.
Studies have shown that less than 10% of what we really say comes out of our mouth. The rest has been proven to come from how we say it and how we look like whilst speaking. Sit back in your chair and you can easily look bored or arrogant, sit with your arms crossed and you will look defensive and speak in one tone and your will come across boring.
To get your body language right in the first few minutes, make sure that you remember the following points.
The Interview Starts the Moment You Leave Home.
If you interview a number of times at a company you will often meet someone who has some control over the hiring process in the lift or around the building. You might not know it, but they will see you.
If your slouching around this will not give you a very good impression. The worst case of this is when you meet your interviewer in the lift as your running a little late, with you hair, tie and general image all over the place.
Remember, receptionists will report what they see in a waiting room to the interviewers, so make sure your look smart and professional before your enter the building. We can all give that "I am too good to interview here look" and you need to remember if you give this look at any stage during the interview you will not get the job.
Interview Start Time
Whatever you do, don't be late. You need to ensure that you arrive 5-10 minutes before your interview starts. Running late is a great way to get the nerves going which is something you defiantly don't need to get a job. If you arrive really early, it's a good idea to wait around the corner away from the front door of the office as too often you see candidates walking near the front door giving that nervous look.
That First Minute
The first minute is where 70% of whether a client likes you all not takes place and if you get this wrong, you interview could be over before its really started. If your interviewer feels that you are not the right candidate for their company, your interview could be over in as little as 20 minutes.
The key is to this, is getting your handshake and personal appearance right. If you are not dressed smart enough then potentially you will give the impression that you cannot be bothered. The easiest way to dress both smartly and professional during an interview is to wear a suit, preferably a navy blue suit which you can very easily tone up with a smart tie or tone down my not wearing a tie. At the same time you need to make sure you cover the basics; your personal hygiene, not too much cologne or perfume and your hair is neat and tidy.
Finally you really need to be aware of your handshake. If you have a go at breaking my fingers you will look aggressive and a bully, however you give me a limp handshake where you do not squeezed hard enough, you can easily look weak and without any confidence.
To get the perfect handshake you really need to make sure that you fully connect with the interviewers hand and give a medium squeeze. This gives the impression of confidence and leadership skills.
Where and When to Sit
Where and When to sit down is very important when you are interviewing. In most interviews you attend you will be directed into an interview room and will not have a choice of where to sit. The one exception to this would be a Group interview where you are being interviewed by more than one person and therefore will usually be invited to a slightly larger room usually suited to meetings with 8 or 10 people.
In this situation you want to wait standing up in the room for your interviewers to arrive. Once they have arrived you will be either directed towards and specific seat or be able to see which chairs your interviewers are aiming for and then be able to make a decision on what seat to choose that allows you to directly view both interviewers and is not too far away so you can be easily heard.
Whilst its fine to sit down whilst you wait for your interviewer to walk into the room, you should stand to shake their hand. This is a normal part of respect that will mean that you come across as a professional person with good manners. You should also remain standing until you are invited to sit down as often key "ice breaker" conversations take place in the first few seconds.