Most of us experience a degree of nervousness around interviews and when the job in question is one you are really keen to get, this can become more intense. So, assuming you are following good interview preparation practice (as outlined in our career transition programmes and in other articles here) what else can you be aware of that might help you land that job offer?
Over the last ten years or so, a number of studies have looked at the interview process and have identified a number of non-verbal and verbal ‘influencers’. Here we are looking at some key non-verbal influencers.
Interviewers have been found to believe that candidates’ personalities can be deduced from the non-verbal cues they give. In the interview situation, it is said that non-verbal behaviours can account for more than 80% of an applicant’s rating. Many of these sound rather obvious but you might be surprised by how many people trip themselves up over some of these at interview. Job interviewers pay attention to:
- Appearance – dress and neatness are important, with interviewers consistently linking a candidate’s image and capability to his/her appearance. Additionally good grooming and appropriate dress was felt to show respect for the company and the role itself.
- Posture – Leaning forward (with your bottom lodged in the back of the chair) was seen to indicate enthusiasm and a sincere interest in the job. Interviewers liked candidates who shifted posture when there was a change in topic or when the conversation touched a high point. They did not like quiet, motionless people and they interpreted these people as “holding things back”. Changing posture or leg position from time to time was seen to indicate alertness, confidence, respect and energy. Most interviewers wanted an assertive candidate.
- Rapport – this was consistently found to be the most important factor. Rapport describes the relationship of two or more people who are on the same wavelength as each other (or in synchrony with each other). People in close rapport may share posture shifts, smile at each other, and even match leg positions. This is supported by eye contact. Making appropriate eye contact was felt to indicate a candidate’s honesty, confidence, self-pride and determination.
To learn more about career coaching or career programmes, or to make a free initial one-hour consultation, contact us.