How to handle non-verbal communication during an interviewYour non-verbal cues during an interview are just as important as what you say. Here are some things to remember to make the best impression.
We all know that non-verbal communication like tone of voice, body language and eye contact tell us more than the words someone speaks. For example, someone standing with their arms crossed in front of their chest tells us that they are closed off or uncomfortable. A University of Pennsylvania study reported that the majority of communication is transmitted non-verbally: 70% of communication is body language, 23% is voice tone and inflection, and only 7% is spoken.
Your non-verbal cues during an interview are just as important as what you say. Here are some things to remember to make the best impression during your interview:
Have good posture
Your body language says a lot about how comfortable and confident you feel in a situation. Sit upright and straight with good posture to convey confidence and professionalism. Lean slightly forward to show interest. Leaning back in your chair can make you seem bored and uninterested.
Another telltale sign of boredom and/or nervousness is fidgeting. Avoid jiggling your leg up and down, playing with your hair, biting your nails or other distracting movements. This comes across as rude and unprofessional.
Use your hands
There’s nothing like a formal situation to make you question what to do with your hands. Don’t leave your hands glued to your sides as this seems awkward. Instead, use your hands as you normally would during a conversation – using gestures to support your conversation (although not so much as to be distracting).
Making good eye contact during an interview is all about balance. Staring directly into the interviewer’s eyes is not a great move and can make others feel uncomfortable. But avoiding all eye contact is also just as bad. Make eye contact as you respond to and ask questions as well as while you’re listening, but don’t feel the need to hold it the entire time. Take breaks just as you would during a normal conversation with a friend.