- Your interviewer has decided whether to hire you or not in the lobby.
- Eye contact is more important than your CV.
- Getting the right handshake could, in all seriousness, be enough to get the job.
Changing your body language will get you that job. Fact. Getting though to the interview stage of applications is a hallelujah moment, but what if you keep falling at the last hurdle? Well we asked Body Language Expert India Ford where you’re making interview mistakes.
The surprising answer is that tiny changes could make ALL the difference.
1. You have very (!) limited time to make your mark
Did you know that an interviewer has decided within the first 7 seconds of meeting you whether they want to give you the job or not?!
“Just think how long 7 seconds actually is. In those seconds the interviewer will be analysing you on a subconscious level. And they don’t start when you are seated in the interview room. The time could begin when the interviewer sees you sitting in the lobby, or when they see you interacting with the receptionist. If it takes them 3 seconds to walk over to you, that’s nearly half of your time up already!”
And FYI, 7 seconds is as long as it takes Miranda to get out of the lift (!) in The Devil Wears Prada…
2. You are doing eye contact so wrong
Sorry, but it’s true. “The vast majority of people I meet do eye contact wrong. It’s really hard to get right if you don’t know how to do it,” India told us. So what’s the hack to nailing it? “Imagine a triangle on someone’s face with the eyes as the base level and the centre of the forehead as the apex. Look at one eye for 3/4 seconds, then the other for the same length of time, and then look at the apex for 1 second. This will give an even spread and make you memorable to the person you are talking to. This is vital for getting through that interview!”
3. Prada or Primark?
Changes in your body language can make all the difference to your overall look. “I get asked if changing your body language is trying to be something you’re not. The answer is no – you’re just showing the best version of yourself. It’s like wearing your best clothes. But having said that, you’re more likely to get the job wearing Primark but doing the right body language then wearing Prada and doing it wrong.”
4. This is how to do a proper handshake
You might think handshakes are going out of fashion but that couldn’t be more wrong. “Getting the right handshake could, in all seriousness, be enough to get hired. Handshakes go back to our cavemen hardwiring that touch equates with respect. Touching a person creates an important bond with the other person and it can show them many different things”. Here are the 5 rules of the perfect handshake.
1. Match the other person’s handshake.
2. Tentative handshakes are a big no.
3. Use your whole hand and get palm to palm contact.
4. Lock thumbs.
5. Give the person eye contact for the entire time and smile at them.
Not like this…
5. There are distinct qualities you need to demonstrate to get the job. And 4 that will get you ruled out.
“There is a very fine line between confidence and arrogance,” says India, “and if you cross the line you are unlikely to get the job.” Instead focus on coming across as friendly and likeable. “Literally 99% of a job interview is so they can see if you will get on with the rest of the team. Why would companies waste time and resources inviting someone to come in if they thought they weren’t qualified enough? Your job at an interview is purely to come across as likeable.”
You need to appear comfortable and natural – don’t tighten up or go rigid as this makes you look unconfident. Another good tip is to not over-gesture – it will make you look erratic which is not a desirable quality in an efficient worker!
Now go and nail that interview 🙂