In today’s guest post, Jen Mansfield of Tranceforming You Ltd shares her top tips on how to use your body language to feel amazing in a job interview. Jen is a communication and language specialist.
So you’ve found your dream job role, the one that appears to fit exactly with what you love to do, allows you to showcase your skills and talents and give you that work life balance you feel like you’ve been allusively searching for since well, forever. THIS is what you were BORN to do. All you have to do is wow them at the interview. Ah, interview; I HATE those, I’ve NEVER been good at them.
STOP! Turn that negative inner voice right down and allow yourself to wonder what other changes you will make whilst reading this blog, thinking how you’ll be sat doing that dream job of yours with a big grin on your face in no time.
1. Walk the talk
When we genuinely and honestly communicate, our body language and our words match up creating congruence. An example of congruence would be if you were to say “I love getting up early in the morning” with a smile on your face, a nodding head and animated body language, the listener would believe whole-heartedly what you were saying.
However, if you’ve ever had a friend tell you “It’s fine” whilst shaking their head from side to side, you know what incongruence looks like and that things are definitely NOT fine. There’s a mixed or double message and it’s the body language that speaks their truth.
Despite our best efforts, we can’t not communicate.
When attending a job interview, make sure what you’re saying and doing matches up. Sitting there twiddling your hair with your fingers whilst telling the interviewer what a confident leader you are isn’t going to cut it. Instead, you could demonstrate your confidence and approachability by sitting with a relaxed, open posture (i.e. feet flat on the floor, legs uncrossed and arms resting in your lap or moving as you speak as opposed to crossed in from of you) and a smile.
As a side note, be aware of your interviewer’s body language when being interviewed, are they speaking with congruence? If not, it may be a sign that something’s not quite adding up.
For example, if only their right hand moves whilst their left stays firmly in their lap as they speak about a specific topic, you may want to subtly explore that topic further during your opportunity to ask questions.
2. Build rapport
As this is your dream job, you’ll more than likely have a natural connection with the interviewer(s) but if you feel like you’re struggling to connect and get yourself across in the best light, breath, relax and become fully congruent – speak your truth.
Another useful tool to build rapport is to use your interviewer’s words back to them when speaking or answering questions. For example, if your interviewer says “at….we pride ourselves on our reputation” you could include the words pride and reputation in conversation with them to increase your rapport.
Equally if they say “How does that sound to you?” you could answer “that sounds…” as opposed to “that looks…” to demonstrate that you are on the same page. There’s no need to overthink this, think about those in your life you get on with most. Chances are you’ll have pretty similar opinions on various topics, like the same things and possibly share some of the same habits.
On a subconscious level, when we encounter someone who uses the same words, phrases and body language as us, our threat response is deactivated and we become much more open to what they have to say.
You are the best you there is, no-one is better at being you than you, so just be yourself and let that shine through.
3. Speak with confidence
So you know you have all the capabilities and skills to absolutely rock this job but the thought of speaking at the interview terrifies you. Fear not! Coincidentally, do you know what ‘FEAR’ stands for? False Evidence Appearing Real. Yep, it’s all in your head (#sorrynotsorry).
Did you know that Public speaking is the no.1 fear on the planet?! Have you ever stopped to consider what it is you do inside that wonderful head of yours when you scare the bejesus out of yourself at the thought of speaking in public or to someone you deem to be ‘above’ you? (notice it’s “at the THOUGHT of” NOT actually doing it).
Have you ever considered that is EXACTLY what you’re doing? In your minds eye, you are literally putting that person above you. You make them big and tall whilst shrinking yourself down to someone that resembles the size of an ant (think “Honey I Shrunk the kids”) and then picture yourself trying to speak with authority – good luck!
The good news is, there is a brilliantly simple solution to this – in fact there are a couple but I don’t want to give all my juicy stuff away ;). Time for some visualisation.
Picture yourself standing on one side of an open door way or even a door frame. Now, across this door frame I want you to place an iron bar, a really solid one that once it’s installed no one can move – not even you, the master installer. The bar should be placed just above the level of you eyes so that anyone walking towards you is guaranteed to get a good knock on the head as they approach unless they stoop down to below your level.
Now that you’ve successfully installed this bar at the perfect height for you, see yourself walking around with this fabulous contraption wherever you go with all of those people that were once above you stooping left right and centre with big bruises and purple lines across their foreheads. Notice how you’re smiling at yourself as you see yourself chatting with ease to them now?
That’s it! Three simple steps to nail your interview so go forth and be fabulous when you walk the talk, build rapport and speak with confidence.
Remember, no one does you better than you so tell them what makes YOU perfect for this job.
You can get in touch with our guest writer Jen Mansfield on LinkedIn.