No interviewee wants to mess up their job interview. But you probably also know that some things are out of your control. Take for example your anxiety, which can get the best of you and cause you to say the wrong things.
But how do you know said something wrong, besides the obvious interview faux pas? Pay attention to body language. Here are 5 tricks to help you interpret your interviewer’s body language.
Pay Attention to the Smile
It’s always a good sign when you see your interviewer smile, but don’t get carried away with your sigh of relief. A smile can cover up what people are really thinking about, and for some, it can be a defense mechanism when they feel uncomfortable.
So how do you tell if a smile is genuine or not? Look at the eyes; a genuine smile creates wrinkles around the corners of the eyes that look like crow’s feet. If they aren’t present, that smile might not be the real thing.You might have said something offensive or in poor taste, so be alert and apologize, then redirect your conversation to safer waters.
Check the Eyes
Ideally, your interviewer’s eyes should be focused on two things: you and your resume. If the interviewer maintains eye contact with you and your resume all throughout the interview, it usually means he is interested in hiring you.
However, when their attention is elsewhere, like the door or their phone, they’re probably uninterested and want the interview done ASAP. If that happens, turn the tables around immediately. Be direct with your talking points and ask questions to engage the interviewer in a conversation.
Are They Nodding?
An interview is going well when both parties build rapport and understand one another. If the interviewer nods at what you are saying or leans forward to listen to what you’re saying, they are interested in you and want to hear more of what you have to say.
Conversely, if the interviewer shakes his head, that’s usually a red flag that shows you probably sad something that’s not to their liking.
What’s Their Posture Like?
Take special note of your interviewer’s body posture, which can be a good indicator of their level of interest in you as a candidate.
Slouching, with arms folded across the chest and legs pulled away, indicates that your interviewer is bored and does not want to hear more of what you are talking about. Stop for a minute, take a deep breath, and try to take a different approach.
Although these techniques can’t tell you what exactly someone is thinking during your interviewer, they can still help you be more mindful of your interviewer’s reaction to you, which can make all the difference when trying to make a good impression.