When it comes to interviewing, it’s not only what you say explicitly that matters. What your body language/nonverbal cues say about you implicitly also matters (a lot.) And keep in mind that as bad as these can be during an in-person interview, they’ll be magnified in a videoconference. Here’s what to avoid in your next job interview.
Poor eye contact
Looking someone in the eye is considered a sign of confidence and openness. Averting your gaze could make you seem insecure or even like you might be hiding something. So be sure to keep your head held high and make good eye contact with your interviewer. But don’t overdo it. Subjecting your interviewer to a staring contest will definitely come across as creepy.
You should be fully engaged in your job interview, with your attention focused on the conversation. Staring around the room, slumping in your chair, or allowing your eyes to glaze over are nonverbal cues that will make the interviewer think you’re bored. If your mind starts to wander, take a deep breath and refocus your attention. Asking good, focused questions will help your focus.
We all have nervous habits, but try to keep them to a minimum during your job interview. Clicking a pen, jiggling your foot, or tapping on the table are just a few ways that you might accidentally show your nerves. Not only can these behaviors be incredibly distracting, but they can actually make your interviewer nervous as well.
Another common nervous habit, throat clearing, is a definite no-no in the age of COVID-19. At best, you’ll seem nervous. At worst, your interviewer might wonder if you’re infectious. If your throat tends to get dry, try some warm tea with honey right before the interview and keep water at hand to sip throughout the conversation.
Lack of facial expressions
In an attempt to appear “professional,” some people try to fix their face in a neutral position during job interviews. But you’re a human, not an android, and this will only come across as unnerving. Human faces convey many of the biggest nonverbal cues during any conversation. You might want to skip the huge belly laughs and moderate your vocal tone, but don’t try to prevent your face from expressing how you feel.
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