It takes a nearly flawless résumé, an impressive cover letter, and, in many cases, a few inside connections to land a job interview. But all it takes to blow it is a weak handshake or bad posture.
“Body language can have a big impact on the way you’re perceived by others, especially at work,” explains Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. “It can seem silly but there are psychological reasons behind it, so thinking about how you’re carrying and expressing yourself at the office shouldn’t be forgotten.”
A new survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder asked 2,500 hiring managers to identify the biggest body language mistakes job seekers make in the interview. Here’s what they said:
'If you don't, the interviewer will assume you are either insecure, don't have an appropriate answer for the question being asked, or are being deceptive. Does that mean it's true? No, but perception is everything in a job interview.'
This may give the interviewer the impression that you're bored or uninterested in the conversation. Instead, keep your hands on the desk or table, and don't fidget.
In their book 'Crazy Good Interviewing,' John B. Molidor, Ph.D., and Barbara Parus suggest showing your palms during an interview -- since the gesture indicates sincerity -- or pressing the fingertips of your hands together to form a church steeple. which displays confidence, reports Business Insider's Shana Lebowitz.
Reiman previously told Business Insider you should always be aware of your posture.
'People don't realise that the job interview begins in the waiting room, but it does. So don't slouch in the chair in the reception area,' she advised. 'In order to be perceived as confident, you must sit or stand tall, with your neck elongated, ears and shoulders aligned, and chest slightly protruding.'
This position changes the chemicals in our brain to make us feel stronger and more confident, and it gives the outward appearance of credibility, strength, and vitality, she explained.
This gesture will tell the interviewer you're not comfortable or you're closed off.
'You should always keep your hands in view when you are talking,' Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of 'SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma,' previously told Business Insider. 'When a listener can't see your hands, they wonder what you are hiding.' To look honest and credible, keep your arms uncrossed and show your hands.
Ideally, your handshake should be firm, but not overbearing. 'The secret to a great handshake is palm-to-palm contact,' Wood told Business Insider. You want to slide your hand down into the web of theirs, and make palm-to-palm contact. Lock thumbs, and apply an equal amount of pressure.
'But relying too much on hand gestures can be distracting, according to Molidor and Parus.'
She says you should remember you're in a job interview, not a theatre audition.
People tend to show their dominating personality by gripping the interviewer's hand and palming it down, but this tells the interviewer that you need to feel powerful, Reiman explained. 'Instead, the handshake should be more natural: thumbs in the upward position and two to three pumps up and down.'
As the applicant, you should always wait for the interviewer to extend their hand first, she added.
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