In Pursuit of a Job
Read about the non-verbal communication noted during a job interview.
Welcome to One Up Your Career – the daily info-vitamin capsule ?? by Unnati to help you growth hack your career.
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I hope you are all keeping safe. Today I will be talking about facing job interviews and sharing insights from the perspective of an interviewer. A face-to-face interview is nervousing and causes fluttering of butterflies in the stomach.
Let me tell you a recruiter secret, at times the recruiter is as nervous and scared as you are. They are responsible for choosing the right candidate, accurately representing the company, and being judged by you. You can afford to make mistakes, they cannot. Did that piece of information put you at ease? Well, it is true but not for every recruiter so do not be overconfident and jeopardize your chances of getting hired.
Talking about interviews, here is an epic job interview scene from one of my favorite movies ever (probably the best one so far).
I have sat on this side of the table thousands of times and tried to asses people and for me; grooming, gestures, facial expression, body language etc tells more about the candidate. While I am not advocating putting on a show or a false persona, you can make use of the information of what the recruiter is actually looking for.
Following tips are on keeping up the non-verbal aspect of a face to face interview:
Dressing & Grooming
Will Smith was in a unique situation to show up at the interview without a shirt but you are not. You are the first thing the interviewer will notice as you walk in to take the seat. Be sure that you make an impressive first impression.
You know yourself the best so I am not going to get into the nitty-gritty of what should you wear or how you style your hair. Ensure that you are in formal attire that is clean and ironed. Your face should be visible and hair should not be a distraction while you speak. Body odor and a strong scent are a put off so avoid both. You might have waited and traveled for a long time for the interview but that does not have to show. I mean you should look fresh. A sweaty and tired look is not a good first impression to give. It is not about wearing an expensive or new set of clothes. The way you appear for the interview shows sincerity and how keen you are to get the job. Putting some thought and effort into dressing and grooming is not a waste of time.
There is a lot said about handshaking in a professional set up because it is an important part of building your persona to the interviewer. A firm handshake is recommended. Not too hard as to crush the bone and neither a limp handshake. The beginning and end of the interview are the appropriate times to give a handshake but it is not mandatory. If a candidate walks into the room and initiates a handshake, it is a sign of confidence to me. Again, a handshake is not the only way of exhibiting confidence.
Hyperhidrosis or sweaty palms is a medical condition which many of us are unaware of. Mostly, people will ask you to avoid shaking hands if you have sweaty palms but I do not know of any candidate getting rejected because of having sweaty palms. We are all humans and the interviewer understands that but what you could do is call out before shaking hands about your condition. Say it politely that you do not want to deny a handshake but it is just that you have sweaty palms and if the interviewer still proceeds to extend the hand then shake hands and go on with the interview.
Gestures and facial expressions
Experts on body language have a plateful of advice on appropriate body language during the interview. Admittedly, I am no expert at the science of body language. So, all I look for are confident body language and for a person who is comfortable in his skin.
On a serious note, hand gestures and your body language are under scrutiny in an interview but again no one has lost out on a job solely because of too many hand gestures or slouching albeit it is a client-facing job. Gestures and your facial expressions display your confidence and how you carry yourself. Too many hand gestures or a shaking leg will distract the interviewer from what you are actually speaking. So, sit straight, look the interviewer in the eye (no staring), smile, take a deep breath, and relax.
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