By Carole Martin
Slouching is out! It’s about demonstrating confidence – standing straight, making eye contact, and connecting with a good, firm handshake. That first impression can be a great beginning, or a quick ending to your interview.
Body movement or lack of Once the interview begins you should be relaxed, use your hands in talking – most people do. Do not overdo anything! Small gestures with your hands in fine but when you start waving your arms around you are out-of-bounds and could strike out. On the other hand the worst posture is to fold your arms across your chest. This is a hostile posture – very closed. Sometimes women fold their arms this way because they are cold. Wear a sweater or jacket – but don’t fold your arms over your chest.
Contact – The Hand Shake
The handshake is the first contact you will have with the interviewer. It’s often looked at as a telling gesture to judge the confidence of a person.
The interviewer extends his hand and you in turn extend your hand. If your hand is sweaty it will give an unpleasant feeling to the interchange.
Image – Attire
You are judged by how you look! Whether we like it or not – how you look – your general appearance – does set the impression for the rest of the interview. This is going to take some research on your part. You can call the HR Department or even the Receptionist to ask about the company dress code. If the answer is “Casual,” you should think one level above to “Business Casual.” A good rule to follow is: “Dress One Level Above the Company Culture.”
There is something else to take into consideration and that is the position that you are seeking. The idea is to look like someone who will fit in, but someone who could also represent the company to people outside the company.
True – or – False?
You should not look directly into the interviewers eyes as this may make him or her feel uncomfortable.
This is FALSE.
If you don’t look directly into the eyes of the interviewer it can be judged as a lack of confidence. When you talk to someone and your eyes are looking in another direction, the person feels as though you are not talking to them directly.
It may feel very uncomfortable for you to look directly into someone’s eyes but you need to look at the person while you talk. This doesn’t mean staring, but looking directly at the person you are addressing.
A tip to use that is taken from the people on tv who use “teleprompters.” They are looking at the teleprompter and reading their lines but it looks as though they are looking straight at the camera.
It is important not to smell – Good or Bad – during the interview!
If you smell bad – breath or body odor – that could be disastrous! Most people know that. But did you know that it could be equally disastrous to smell too good?
Colognes and Perfumes are great offenders to someone who cannot tolerate scents. Allergies or personal memories or preferences about scents can come into play during the interview and can be very distracting.
If you thought interviewing was only about answering questions, you’ve been missing the point. You’ve also been missing an opportunity to gather valuable information. Listening is one of the skills most underutilized by candidates. Most people go into the interview thinking and worrying about how they will answer the questions. They forget that they are there to find out about the job and the company and whether this is the right place for them.
The bonus of listening is that you impress the interviewer by the fact that you have heard what was said, and sometimes what was not said. The best questions you can ask come as a result of listening. Turn up your listening and intuitive skills. Read between the lines!
Demeanor – Confidence
One of the most important factors a candidate can bring to the interview is self-confidence.
When you stand tall and look the interviewer in the eye while you give a firm handshake you will make an immediate good first impression.
In today’s competitive job market it is worth taking some time to think about the impression you are making. Will you stand out from the competition with your confidence and demeanor? If not –take the time to make some changes.
Carole Martin, America’s #1 Interview Coach has specialized in the subject of “Interviewing” for the past 15 years and has coached and interviewed thousands of job seekers to successfully get the job. Pick up her Interview Questions and Answers Guide (www.interviewcoach.com/answer-guide) and stop by The Interview Coach (www.interviewcoach.com/services.html) to Ask for a FREE Interview Analysis for more personalized interview coaching.