Body language is extremely important when you are face to face with the hiring manager. In fact, the way you sit or breathe can make or break your interview strategy and cost you the job of dreams. Especially, in a competitive field like the finance industry where numerous candidates compete for the same position, you need to make sure that, besides possessing the proper qualifications, you can also control your body during the interview.
When offered a sit at the beginning of the interview, make sure to sit upright. Do not lean towards the interviewer, or hunch down in your chair, as this is a sign of low self-esteem. On the other hand, don’t be too stiff either. Choose an upright position that makes you feel comfortable and confident, full of energy and ready to land the job of your dreams.
Many candidates are unsure of what to do with their hands during an interview. Some people put them on the desk in front of them, others cross them in front of their chest, while others rest them on their laps. All these postures are wrong because, at the end of the day, you need to control your hands. Do not place your hands on your neck (the throne position) or in front of your face. Both these attitudes convey nervousness and unease. Also, make sure not to touch your lips or nose with your hands. Interview experts suggest that this is an indication of uncertainty or even lying.
You may think that your legs are not that important during an interview. Well, you are wrong. Moving your legs non-stop or resting one leg over the other indicates nervousness or even arrogance and disrespectfulness. Also, crossing your legs high up suggests you are defensive or negative because this is a closed posture. The best position is straight to the floor, both feet flat so that you convey both confidence and professionalism.
Keep a direct eye contact with your hiring manager. This shows that you are actively listening and that you are not hiding anything. However, do not blink and do not stare aggressively by moving your head up and down. Interview body language experts suggest that you hold an eye contact for about 10 seconds before looking away and then reconnect with your interviewer. Maintaining an eye contact without an interval may seem challenging and arrogant. On the other hand, looking downwards for more than 10 seconds will make you look insincere and that you are not actively involved.
Speaking clearly while changing your tone of voice shows you are confident and determined. According to a study by the University of Glasgow, people need less than a second to form an impression of someone’s personality based on their tone of voice because our voice transmits information about our inner strength and character. In fact, someone who raises his pitch is considered more trustworthy than someone with a low-pitched voice. On the other hand, make sure to pause between questions and take your time before answering so that you control your voice and avoid any emotional overreaction.
Focusing on your breathing is important in the interview process. More than controlling your voice, inhaling before answering a question and exhaling when speaking, allows you to follow the air flow and relax. In fact, deep breathing helps you calm down because it lowers your heart rate and controls your stress hormone level. Therefore, you can redirect the stress of the interview to a regulated breathing, achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind.
Overall, more than your resume and qualifications, your attitude during the interview should be of equal or even of a higher importance in your effort to land your dream job. Many job candidates in the Finance field, but also in others, worry about fixing their resume rather than fixing their behavior towards their hiring manager. If you realize the importance of your body language during a job interview, you are more likely to get the job.
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