First times are always special aren’t they? Your first word, first day at school, first day in college - all firsts are special and exciting! However, your first interview, in addition to being special and exciting, is also bound to make you a little jittery, and hey, that’s absolutely normal. Apart from all your knowledge and presence of mind the one thing that will make or break your interview is your body language. Yes! It’s THAT important! Here are a few tips for your first interview!
Edith Head once said, “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it”, and we couldn’t agree more. How you dress speaks volumes about your attitude towards the job you are applying for. Plus if you’re dressed well, you automatically feel better about yourself and more confident - and that automatically shows in the way you carry yourself. Here are a few tips on what to wear for the interview.
Your interview begins the minute you enter the room, and the ten second walk from the door to your seat in front of the panel/ interviewer will have a huge impact on how your interview progresses. So, walk tall with your shoulders back, take small steps, don’t be in a hurry to get to your seat and look ahead.
A firm handshake signifies confidence and a loose handshake makes you appear nervous, jittery and lacking conviction. That also does not mean you have to squish his/her hand. Make sure your handshake is firm and you interlock your hand properly with them and don't just hold their fingers!
You will most probably be made to sit on a chair with a back rest. Sit all the way back and rest your back on the back support. Make sure you don’t slouch but also keep your body at ease so that you don’t look too stiff and uncomfortable.
Keeping both your feet flat on the ground is considered the ideal position for an interview. However, if that makes you uncomfortable you may cross your feet at your ankles. Don’t tap your feet or shift your legs too much - it'll give away your nervousness which is not a good idea!
Keep your hands one above the other, loosely and not clenched, either on your lap, or if there is a table in front of you, you may use that. Don’t fiddle with your fingers, rings, watch or any other ornaments on your wrist. Also read: 8 Things NOT To Wear For A Job Interview!
In order to convey that you are attentive and alert to what the panel/ interviewer is talking to you about, nod slightly. It should not be a vigorous nod, nor should it be a nervous half-hearted nod. Be confident and it will automatically reflect in your mannerisms.
It's natural to use hand gestures when you talk. In fact if you don’t use them at all, it will make you look stiff and jittery. However, overdoing hand gestures is also not a good idea. Make sure you are not rushed in your speech and gestures and that your hands do not cover your face.
Being inaudible will irritate your panel/ interviewer because they will have to ask you to repeat your answers over and over again. But if you are too loud it gives the impression that you are overconfident, so find the perfect balance depending on the distance between you and the interviewer. Keep your pitch and volume neutral, one which is comfortable to hear.
Smiling indicates that you are at ease with the interview, confident and well prepared. In some interviews, the panel/ interviewer may deliberately try to build stress or frustrate you in order to see how well you can handle pressure situations. So it is imperative that you stay calm and keep a subtle smile on your face during the interview. Also, do not look down while answering or listening as it shows disinterest and lack of preparation. Also read: 9 Body Language Tricks To Make You Look & Feel More Confident!
Once done, greet the interviewer or panel before you leave. A simple “Thank you” or “It was a pleasure talking to you” - accompanied by a firm handshake - will suffice. Walk out confidently, and remember your interview isn’t over till the time you are out of the room.