Did you know the average interview lasts around 45 minutes? What if I told you that 43 minutes and 30 seconds of that interview was a complete waste of time? Many interviewers admit that either consciously or subconsciously they decide within in 90 seconds if they want to hire the candidate. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the nonverbal pitfalls and perks of the interviewing process.
When does the Interview Begin?
The interview starts before the candidate even says a word. There are two major nonverbal assessments. First, it’s your body language, which will focus on your actions and behavior in the interview and the office environment. Second, your appearance. Your appearance can say a lot about who you are. Attribution theory states that assumptions about a person’s personality are based on their physical qualities and appearance. 65% of 2,000 surveyed bosses and recruiters said how someone dresses could be the deciding factor between two identically qualified candidates.
Attributes such as clothing, jewelry, tattoos, and hair can affect an interview. Do your research on who you are interviewing with and its company culture. If you are talking with a company that has a formal dress code cover up your tattoos, comb your hair, and wear a suit.
Holly shared a story about a friend of hers who wore jeans to an interview for a teaching position. I know what you all are thinking, jeans! Why in the world would you wear jeans to a professional meeting? Well, he did his research and found that schools professors wore jeans a lot, and it made him look more approachable to students since some students had a say in his interview. Long story short — he got the job!
Your body language will say a lot – the interviewer makes a lot of assumptions about your thoughts and feelings because of it. 60-100% of human communication is nonverbal. Gestures, facial expressions, stance, and posture can show that you mean business. A great way to express confidence in an interview is to show that you are comfortable. Keep your head up, shoulders square, and use your smile. A great smile shows that you’re excited to be there and ready for anything they have to throw at you. liveboldandbloom.com has an article on boosting your confidence through body language, be sure to check it out!
Like I said earlier, many interviewers decide consciously or subconsciously if they are going to hire the candidate. Here are some nonverbal tips to encourage their subconscious decision.
According to a survey by Career Builder, 83% of interviewers said the biggest interview turn off is lack of eye contact.
Do you know how impactful your smile could be? Smiling more can lead to a longer life, less stress, and pain. As well as make you 24% more memorable and increase your trustworthiness. A smile is like a pair of glasses — it makes you appear more intelligent and competent. Did you know a study proved that in 30 milliseconds a person could decide whether they can trust you?
A firm and proper handshake can also make a lasting impression. Too soft and you appear weak, but if you have a death grip, you appear too aggressive. Have a firm grip and maintain eye contact when you first come face to face with your interviewer. Watch this brief video on executing the perfect handshake.
Your goal is to demonstrate confidence and comfort to show that you are personable, approachable, and (relatively) comfortable. Your attributes and body language could potentially change the outcome of your interview. Always be aware of your body language and what it is projecting to people. Sometimes you can look bored or unattentive when in fact you’re intrigued and mesmerized. Also, these tips will come in handy when you are networking with other professionals. Not everyone has the same tells or expressions, but they all can leave a lasting impression.
Please come to our Next Hudson Job Search Meeting!
Hudson Job Search will present Working with Recruiters by Jim Gorian on July 1st from 7:15-9:00 pm at Christ Church Episcopal, 21 Aurora St. Hudson, OH. Mr. Gorian is President of Management Recruiters of Hudson and a Hudson Job Search advisor. His presentation will cover using recruiters in a job search and a take on today’s market place for job seekers.
All our events are free of charge and open to anyone who lives and works in the greater NEO area, whether you currently have a job or not. No need to register in advance, but seating is limited to approximately 40 individuals. Please dress business casual.
Michael McClafferty is an intern for Hudson Job Search and Mulligan Management Group.