The Ultimate Guide to Body Language during a Job Interview: Part I was originally published on uConnect External Content.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro when it comes to interviewing, or you’re about to embark on your very first job interview experience, learning how to interpret body language can be extremely helpful. In this two-part series we’ll be talking all about how to read an interviewer’s body language, as well as how to be more mindful of your own. Let’s begin.
It takes a certain amount of confidence to be able to maintain eye contact during an interview, which is why we suggest taking the time to practice with a trusted friend or family member. Eventually, you’ll feel more comfortable talking about your resume, skills, and experience while maintaining eye contact, but you’ll also be more cognizant of the interviewer’s ability to keep eye contact.
If the interviewer keeps breaking eye contact or stops making eye contact altogether, it could be a bad sign. In order to bring the interview back on track, try asking a question so the interviewer is forced to reengage. Think back to the very last thing you and the interviewer spoke about and do your best to quickly devise a follow-up question. This is one of those scenarios where you’ll have to use your intuition, because in certain cases a lack of eye contact could be the result of nervousness. In other words, it could be possible that the interviewer is having trouble for one reason or another, although this is somewhat rare.
If you’re great at maintaining eye contact, then you won’t have too much trouble reading an interviewer’s facial expressions. For the most part, a person’s facial expressions should line up with a statement that you’re making during a conversation. For example, if you’re talking about a subject that is quite serious but the other person seems to be giggling, there must be a missed connection somewhere. Worse yet, the other person is disengaged and isn’t paying very close attention.
If an interviewer is making any facial expressions that seem out of place, it’s possible that they’re unintentionally revealing their true thoughts. Some things to watch out for are raised eyebrows or repeated deep breathes, as they might suggest that the interviewer is somewhat skeptical. In addition to this, a blank stare might indicate that the interviewer is uninterested or unimpressed.
Pay close attention to the interviewer’s posture. If they’re sitting up straight or perhaps leaning somewhat in your direction, it’s a good indication that they’re interested in what you’re saying. On the other hand, if the interviewer is leaning back away from you or has their arms crossed in front of their body, it could mean that they’re disengaged or apprehensive. If you observe such behavior, do your best to maintain eye contact and remain engaged and optimistic, as it might turn the tide in your favor.
The way an interviewer communicates with you could provide you with some insight into the company’s overall workplace environment. A good interviewer will maintain eye contact, and they will be prepared for the interview by having prior knowledge of your resume, along with a series of questions. These are all good signs and should demonstrate that the interviewer is interested in your work experience, and has been looking forward to speaking with you.
If the interviewer is constantly glancing at your resume and struggling with what to say next, they might be unprepared or otherwise uninterested in conducting the interview. Another thing to look out for is an interviewer who is constantly checking their watch. This is totally unprofessional and is a good indication that the company culture could be somewhat toxic, as it demonstrates a lack of respect for your time.
An interviewer who constantly cuts you off whenever you speak is showing you that they’d rather not give you the time of day, and that they’re attempting to rush through the interview. Conversely, if the interviewer is attentive and takes the time to listen to your answers, it’s a good indication that you’re being taken seriously for the role.
It’s also worth mentioning that if an interviewer seems to be mirroring your body language or optimism and excitement, you can go ahead and assume things are going very well. It will take time, but you’ll get a feel for how to read an interviewer’s body language while also being cognizant of your own. If you sense that the interviewer is “in synch” with you, you’re on the right track. Next time, we’ll be talking about your body language and how you can learn to use it to your advantage during an interview, so keep your trusty internet browser locked in here!