Facial expressions are extremely powerful communicators. If you are sitting correctly, the interviewer should spend most of the interview looking at your face. During the interview, it is very important to control your facial expressions, especially if you feel that the interview is not progressing to your satisfaction. Otherwise you may be communicating unwanted signals to the interviewer.
Smiling is a highly effective communicator and sends all the right signals to the interviewer, especially for building rapport. A smile can often achieve what the best of answers cannot. When you smile at people, it usually makes them feel better and helps develop rapport and trust. It is rightly said that, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight”.
Ensure that you keep the following guidelines in mind while smiling:
Be genuine: Avoid grinning or putting on a forced smile that can easily be identified. You should smile genuinely and it should come straight from the heart so that the other person returns the courtesy by smiling back at you.
Do not overdo it: You should not go overboard while smiling otherwise it can make you appear artificial. You may in reality be a confident and outgoing person who enjoys a great social life, but if you fail to make enough eye contact with the interviewer, you will probably fail to communicate that reality. Making eye contact with the interviewer is vital in building, rapport. Not making enough eye contact will signal your lack of confidence and perhaps that you suffer from low self-esteem. In addition, constantly staring at the interviewer is also not advisable. The key to successful eye contact is to strike a balance between both extremes by maintaining. Appropriate levels of eye contact during an interview.
Hand and Arms
You should never fold your arms across your chest because it places a barrier between you and the interviewer. Other mistakes include sitting on your hands or pretending you do not have any. Y ou can use your hands to emphasize a point, however avoid overdoing it. Keep your hands on your lap. If you have a habit of fidgeting or moving restlessly, hold a pen in your lap. Keep your hands away from your mouth as you speak.
The interview starts before you even say “Hello”. You are expected to shake the interviewer’s hand upon being introduced. Never be afraid of extending your hand first. This shows assertiveness. While shaking hands:
- Remind yourself that the purpose of handshaking is to establish rapport not to demonstrate how strong you are.
- Bring a handkerchief, if you suffer badly from sweaty palms.
- Do not crush the hand bones of the interviewer.
- Avoid shaking hands with three fingers and use all the fingers and a thumb.
- Avoid a long handshake and remember to let go of the interviewer’s hand.
Dress and appearance
Interviewers have certain expectations about dress codes. Failing to meet those expectations can prove to be costly. In addition, interviewers tend to be cautious and conservative while hiring. Reliability, loyalty, trustworthiness and dependability are qualities that all employers seek in employees, no matter what type of job it is. Your task at the interview is to convey to the interviewer that you have all those qualities. Dressing appropriately, represents a good start to convey this information.
You may consider the following tips to enhance your dressing and appearance for an interview:
- Always wear clean clothes and shoes.
- Do not wear jeans when going for an interview. Jeans with holes in them may make a positive impression on the dance floor; however they are unlike to impress an interviewer.
- Avoid excessive jewelry and makeup.
- Keep a clean-shaven look. Stubble may make you look manly, however, the interviewer may feel that you did not think the job was important enough for you to bother shaving.
- Keep your hairstyle as simple as possible.
- Avoid displaying too much skin.