Actions can speak as loudly as – or even louder than – words when you're in an interview. So what non-verbal communication techniques can you use to help make sure you're making a good impression?
Of course the things you say are what will mainly sell you to your potential employer, but other things that aren't coming out of your mouth will also be helping or hindering you during the meeting.
Here are just a few tips:
Who are you looking at?
In many interviews, two people sit in the room – sometimes one does more of the talking and it can be hard to know quite how to react to the other.
Even though you might be mainly talking to one of your interviewers, acknowledge and make eye contact with the other person in the room on a regular basis – as well as making healthy eye contact with the main questioner.
This will help show that you're comfortable addressing more than one person at once, and won't leave half the interview team feeling like you're leaving them out!
Show you're interested!
One tricky scenario that sometimes comes up in the interview room is when the person you're being questioned by does a lot of the talking. In this situation, you can sometimes become concerned that you're not being given much space to express yourself.
If this happens, the key is not to worry. If the interviewer is spending a lot of time talking about the company, the role you applied for and other things, it's all just part of the interview. It may be that they're already quite happy with what they've seen on your CV and simply want this process to be a fairly informal session, not an intense period of questioning.
Make sure you show that you're interested in what your interviewer has to say: Nodding and smiling at appropriate moments, as well as making verbal acknowledgements.
If, at the end of the interview you feel like there are things you'd like to have said but haven't been given the chance to yet, wait for the moment when the interviewer asks if you have any questions.
As well as asking anything you need to here, it's appropriate to politely sum-up what will make you great at the job, and thank the person for letting you attend an interview – a move that's sure to create a great final impression!
Sit up straight
Think about how you're sat, and what your posture will convey to your interviewer: This is a formal situation, so it's appropriate for you to sit up straight and to attention – slumped, informal body language will not create the right impression at all.
Keeping an amiable demeanor – including a friendly smile when this is appropriate – will help your interviewers see you in the best light, especially if you're going for a public facing job where people skills will be very important.
Berkeley Scott is a specialist hospitality recruitment agency.