In job interviews, what we say is important. However how we say it deserves as much attention and thought as the words that come out of our mouths. Understanding your NVCs can ensure more successful interviews, and can make a more positive impression then most people think.
You need to consider the subconscious messages your body is sending and what you are projecting while you’re not speaking. The same occurs in reverse as we gauge impressions from interviewers through their tone of voice, facial expressions and gestures.
This brings me to the most important NVC of all: eye contact. Not only does a high level of eye contact indicate likeability, confidence and interest, it allows you to gather information on the interviewer. While speaking, if you are looking directly into the eye of the interviewer you can see their reactions to what you are saying. The possible data you could gather (are they interested, is what you are saying relevant etc) could be invaluable.
Another important NVC to consider is your actual body posture. Standing tall increases your own confidence rapidly projects a self-assurance and credibility that is appreciated in employees. Within the first 7 seconds of meeting someone, a first impression has been made. Make yours memorable with the way you stand, make eye contact and smile.
During the interview, leaning forwards while speaking and listening indicates interest and demonstrates that you are engaged in the conversation. Remember though – don’t get too close!
Other positive NVCs include:
- Lots of smiling.
- Nodding the head when the interviewer is speaking.
- A competent hand shake
- Passion and enthusiasm in tone of voice
If you think about someone who is enthusiastic and confident, they posses all the above characteristics when they are speaking socially and while face to face in an interview environment. People who are shy or introverted can come across as unprepared, uncomfortable and maybe not very interested. Who do you think you would hire?
- Sit comfortably
- Avoid fidgeting. If you think your hands will give you away, clasp your fingers into a low steeple on your lap.
- Don’t cross your arms – it can come across as defensive.
- Have trouble making eye contact? Practice. If you really struggle (even after making a concerted effort to improve) maintain looking at the interviewer’s ear. This may take a little practice also but you might feel more comfortable then direct ‘eyeball to eyeball’
- Practice the entire interview process with someone who will tell you the truth!