Actions speak louder than Words
For ages most candidates have been under the wrong impression that, one gets a job based on his verbal communication during an interview. However this is not what the facts say, according to a recent study 55% people form first impression based on body language and appearance and just 7% on verbal communication.
People fail to realize that nonverbal communication begins even before you utter your first word in an interview. As the interviewer walks toward you to shake hands, an impression about you is already being formed. Even while you are sitting in the lounge area waiting for you interviewer to arrive you are already being judged by your appearance, posture and smile.
This does not mean that verbal communication is not important. One has to understand that verbal and nonverbal communication go hand-in-hand. You need to be in sync with both. Verbal communication skills come under evaluation only when you start an interaction with your interviewer and therefore one has to keep in mind that you are making a non-verbal impression from the moment you walk into the lobby, while you’re waiting for your interviewer, while you are speaking to him/her and until the moment you leave.
Here’s what you need to do to make a lasting impression:
Dress Immaculately: The moment you meet your interviewer you attire gives him the first impression of who you are. Make sure that you are dressed properly from top to bottom. It’s not about looking beautiful, it’s about presenting a professional and confident. You can immediately turn an interviewer off if you look unprofessional, grubby, or smell of cigarette, body odour or sometimes even when you smell of excessive perfume (remember a lot of people are allergic to strong fragrances)
Being organized: Make sure that you are organized professionally. It is always better to carry a few extra hard copies of your resume and other important official documents in a folder.
It’s always important to go prepared for an emergency hence better to be on the safe side. Be prepared for emergencies by adding the following to your job interview survival kit: gum or mints, tissues, safety pins, and make-up (for the women off course)
Handshake: Just like with eye contact, your handshake can either leave an employer with a good or bad impression of you, depending on how you do it. You don’t have to squeeze the interviewer’s hand so much that he feels you want to break his bones, but a firm shake conveys a more positive attitude.
Eye contact: One of the best ways to make a good first impression is to make eye contact while you speak to them. A person who fails to make eye contact gives an impression of being unsure, low on confidence, dishonest etc. However on the flipside too much of eye contact can seem aggressive and unsuitable. Hence it is very essential to make neutral eye contact with your interviewer. Oftentimes people will roll their eyes when they disagree with someone or when they think the other person has said something dumb.
Posture: During an interview, you want to sit up straight – but not to the point where you look like an ironing board. Keep a relaxed but vigilant posture and a friendly expression; all this indicates an optimistic approach. Be conscious of maintaining good posture throughout the interview as you may find that when an interview is going well you tend to slouch into a casual pose.
Tapping: We usually tend to keeping tapping our fingers and toes during an interview. We may not do it on purpose, but to a potential employer it may be a sign of being restless nervous etc.
Voice: The way you speak can also tell a potential employer a lot about you. For example, if the tone or pitch of your voice is flat, your interviewer will believe that you’re not really interested in the job – no matter how well you are speaking. Also, certain speech patterns like thinking while speaking, fumbling etc. can tell an interviewer that you’re not confident about what you’re saying, or did not adequately prepare for the interview.-
Wrapping up the Interview: Once the interview is over, when you thank your interviewer politely for her time, shaking his/her hand professionally.
Keep in mind that the nonverbal message can speak louder than the verbal message you’re sending.