Listening to Body Talk
You can prepare all you want for an interview, but how do you gage and read the person you’re meeting? How do you ensure a great conversation, when you don’t have any control over your interviewer’s personality preferences or even other variables that have already affected their day? You have to listen to their Body Talk.
Speak to Me
Learning to read body language is a very helpful way of gaging how to steer a conversation in an interview. Not only do you have the physical cues from your interviewer, but you’ll also be able to hear their tone of voice.
People, in general, like themselves and so an easy interviewing tactic can be to mimic the positive body language of your interviewer. If your interviewer is sitting with beautiful posture and a bright smile, adjust your body to be positioned in such a professional fashion. Be cordial and smile with your answers.
If your interviewer, however, seems disinterested and is slouching in his/her chair, it wouldn’t be a good idea to copy that posture or to seem disinterested. Win your interviewer over with your patience and pleasant demeanor.
On the Lookout
No Eye Contact
o Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t let their lack of attention bring you down. Give the best interview you’re capable of and your confidence and determination will shine through.
– An extremely busy person thinking about all the other work they have to do
o Keep in mind that you’re being interviewed on company time and money. Turn their attention back to the interview by asking them questions such as their favorite part of working for this company, etc. Thank them for their time with a firm handshake and send a follow up ‘thank you’ email when you get home.
o Some personality types are less comfortable in social situations. You don’t get to choose who interviews you, so be kind to anyone who is giving you their time.
Shortness of Speech
o Again, remind your interviewer that you are worth investing in as an employee. Let them know that their time spent with you is worth the company’s time.
o See if you can’t find an area of common interest throughout the interview. If you can pick up on something small and run with it into a deeper conversation, you’ve succeeded in taking the interview to the next level. If you see the body adjust, the eyes look up in interest or the conversation beginning with longer sentences, grab onto that subject and take a moment to relate to your interviewer.
Constant Body Position Re-Adjusting
o There are many different variables that could lead to physical discomfort including the room temperature, etc., but often times people readjust their position because they’re uncomfortable with things they’ve heard. Steer clear of saying things that are overly controversial. If you end up saying something that does warrant discomfort from your interview, you might also want to show that you’re open minded in your opinions by balancing the answer you just provided.
Put on a Happy Face
If all else fails, just be pleasant. Again, you cannot control the personality or the preferences of your interviewer. You can only control how you present yourself. By being prepared for your interview, you’ve already made it halfway!