These body language tips will help you appear more confident, even if you're shaking in your boots.
As a job seeker, landing your dream job is the name of the game. However, before you nail down the job, you have to score the interview. Upon securing an interview, a job seeker may go through two stages of emotions: excitement and then fear. The interview process, while exciting, can be stressful, so it's natural that the thought of interviewing could bring on anxiety. If interviewing has you feeling unsure of yourself, here are some actions you can take to come across as more confident in the way you convey yourself during an interview.
1. Posture. Your mother was on to something when she insisted you stand up straight. The way you position yourself during an interview can strongly impact the way you're perceived. It's important to be mindful of sitting upright, which will make you seem comfortable and confident. Slouching in a chair could leave the impression that you're nervous, tense, and lacking energy. In addition to sitting up straight, leaning forward slightly will send the message that you're interested and engaged. Forbes suggests, “power posing” for an interview; this is when you are in a position of confidence, even when you don't feel confident, directly affecting “your brain's testosterone and cortisol levels, and makes you feel more confident.”
2. Handshake. A firm handshake, but not overly firm as that could come off as aggressive, when meeting an interviewer is extremely important when it comes to a positive first impression. While shaking hands, look your interviewer in the eye and let the handshake feel natural- not too long and not too short.
3. Eye Contact. An easy way to show that you're actively listening, engaged, and confident is by making eye contact and maintaining it. To avoid looking like you're staring blankly, hold eye contact for periods of about 10 seconds before looking away briefly and then re-establishing eye contact. Looking downwards can give the impression that you're insincere or submissive. However, it is fine to look down if you are taking notes or referring to something in front of you.
4. Body positioning. Hand positioning during an interview can be a little awkward to figure out if you're feeling less than confident. When unsure of what to do with your hands, rest them loosely clasped on your lap or the table in front of you. Avoid fidgeting with a pen, your face, your hair, or anything else as this conveys nervousness and anxiety. Also be sure to avoid folding your arms across your chest, which suggests a defensive demeanor. Keeping your hands and arms as still as possible is the way to go, the less you move your arms and hands, the more confident and in control you seem. What to do with your legs? A lot of leg movement is both distracting and indicates nervousness. Instead, try crossing your legs at the ankles or placing both feet flat on the floor to convey confidence and professionalism. Gestures are another important aspect of body language during an interview. Making small gestures can reinforce that you're engaged and sure of yourself. However, be mindful that certain gestures mean different things to some people and cultures. When in doubt during the interview, try and keep your hands as still as possible to avoid seeming fidgety.
5. Voice. To convey confidence, always speak in a clear and controlled voice. Vary your tone and pitch without coming across as too excited or emotional. Remember to breathe and pause before answering a question to give yourself time to react, absorb, and formulate an answer that you are sure of that you will be able to deliver in a confident manner.
A little confidence goes a long way when it comes to interviewing. Though you may feel anxious, if your body language conveys confidence, no one has to know that you're itching to get out of there. And remember to hold your head up high! You're in the interview for a reason- they're interested in you!