Articles From the Team
Body language – how to make a great first impression at a job interview
Interviews can be stressful (even when they go really well). The fear of the unknown is naturally something that we all struggle with. Very few of us have the composure of a cucumber before stepping foot in to an interview room. When we feel under pressure it’s easy to lose focus and forget how important the basics are in order to make a good impression.
Before you have even started to speak to your interviewer(s) they will already have begun to judge you. Presenting a smart appearance is important when attending an interview (it’s always a good start if you dress to impress), however even more crucial is your body language.
Let’s look at the facts – 55% of personal communication in through our body language, 38% is tone of voice and just 7% of communication is our actual words. That’s food for thought. So how can you ensure that your body language is giving off the right signals from the get go?
Eye contact is key. Maintaining a comfortable level of eye contact shows that you’re actively listening and are engaged with the questions that you are being asked. If you’re being interviewed by multiple people, ensure to engage eye contact with all of them rather than just focusing on the person leading the questioning. This is a great way of building a rapport with everyone in the room and also ensuring that all of your panel are actively listening to your answers too.
Uncross those arms and use open gestures. One of my particular favourites is to display open palms with my arms out in front. This subconsciously gives the impression of honesty and sincerity. Pay particular attention to your posture as slouching gives off the impression of a nonchalant attitude, which will inevitably be perceived as having a lack of work ethic and drive.
Don’t fidget. It’s tempting to want to move around in order to distract ourselves from our nerves. Typical examples of this distraction technique include not being able to sit still, twisting our hair or itching our face profusely; however all these things will ultimately come across as a lack of ability to focus. Even worse, your interviewer may think that you’re bored.
Walk at a steady pace, keep your head up and don’t forget to smile! This demonstrates that you are confident, personable and most importantly of all that you are happy to be there.
So next time you are faced with a first interview and you’re feeling a little nervous, think body language first. Employing these tactics will help you feel calmer, more focused and in control of the situation so that you come across as your best possible self when it matters the most.
For further interview tips speak to one of our BCL consultants. We support our candidates through every stage of the interview process, ensuring that they feel fully prepared and at ease.