The Importance of Nonverbal Communication in a Job Interview

When preparing for a job interview, many candidates spend all of their time preparing what they will say, and spend very little time considering what they may be saying nonverbally. Collectively, your body language, facial expressions, and gestures can speak much more loudly than your words. A firm handshake is a good start to communicating nonverbally, but here are some more tips you can use in your next job interview.

Pay attention to your appearance.

As soon as your interviewer opens the door to his or her office, you’ve already made an impression. Are you dressed appropriately? Are you well groomed? Do you smell like the restaurant or bon fire you visited the night before? Or, on the other end of the spectrum, do you smell overwhelmingly of perfume or cologne? Don’t leave the house unless you’re sure you’ll make a good impression before you ever open your mouth.

Show the interviewer that you’re listening.

You may be listening, but that doesn’t always mean you look like you’re listening. Make sure you maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Not only does this show interest, it also shows confidence. Smile while the interviewer is talking, and nod when he or she makes points that you want to emphasize that you understand. Don’t slouch, and don’t lean back in your chair, as this posture is too causal for the situation. If anything, you want to lean forward slightly to give the impression that you’re interested.

Use your poker face.

Whether it’s a question about a salary, being asked to explain why you were let go from a previous job, or even just being asked to list your weaknesses, job interviews frequently touch on subjects that can make candidates nervous or defensive. These aren’t emotions you want to show, so make sure you take a deep breath and keep your cool. Don’t make a face, don’t sigh, and don’t fiddle with your pen or your hands. Keep your body neutral so that your interviewer will only hear the verbal response you practiced.

If you want more tips on how to use nonverbal communication in a job interview, contact one of our staffing experts at Key Resource Group. We would love to help you improve your interview skills, and we can help find you job openings you’re interested in as well.