What do you think is the essential part while giving an interview? I know most of you will agree on the communication skills, and yes, even I will not disagree with the usual fact. Communication is crucial, verbal or non-verbal. Here comes the issue, most of the candidates emphasize their verbal communication skills, ignoring non-verbal communication. But, you must know it is as important as verbal communication. This article is dedicated to discussing non-verbal communication during the interview.
So, stick till the end!
Introduction to Non-Verbal Communication
Before we begin, let’s dig a little deeper into the originality of nonverbal communication. It means expressing yourself without words, that is, facial expressions, sighs, pauses, postures, speed, attire, and everything you do except speaking.
In other words, nonverbal communication can be described as a combination of non-lexical and para lingual communication, that is, expressing without using words. You can convey your message, emotions, intentions, thoughts, and feelings differently.
Be mindful that the interview is never only about verbal conveyance only. You have to be cultured in your nonlexical communication skills while giving the interview.
Why Does Nonverbal Communication Matter?
Suppose you are replying to a question during your interview and your facial expressions are dull, you are not moving your hand postures, your attire is not suitable and professional, and you are taking long-short pauses or speaking shilly shally. All these are going to affect your performance irrespective of your answer quality. So, that’s how the importance of non-verbal communication increases.
And it begins right from the waiting area. While waiting for your turn to get interviewed, you must start paying attention to paralinguistic communication. And how shall you portray it? Be professional and quiet. It includes everything from greeting the person at the reception to sitting mannerly in the waiting lounge.
A tip: Do not use the waiting span as idle, or do not start hanging out on long phone calls. This might be treated as a core unprofessional behavior and reduce your selection chances.
Get Your Nonlinguistic Communication Skills Set for the Interview
The question of the hour! How will you prepare to portray your nonverbal language exceptionally well and understandable? It should be easy, professional, and gentle. You need to strike a perfect balance between professionalism and overdoing it.
You must have heard that the first impression is the last impression! And that works assuredly here. Your first impression of your interviewer will last long, even when you get selected, so now you have one more reason to put enough effort into your paralanguage.
Let’s see what you can do to make your preparation game strong enough to crack the interview,
- Practice well: So! Practice makes a man perfect! I would suggest you must practice in front of a friend or a mirror, and you will get to know how it actually works. Another great idea is to take help from an interview coach. They can assist you to the core with adding to your guidelines for masterliness. Work on your nonverbal body language, intonational contours, and expressions. Take notes of the tips and advice, grasp the feedback, and act accordingly.
If you cannot afford an interview coach, try making a video and then watch it. It is an adept way to counter your mistakes.
- Do not overlook the importance of the right postures. If you are unaware of suitable body language and expressions, try gaining knowledge by watching videos, reading blogs and books, or taking expert advice. How you sit and how you walk, everything makes sense and matters! We will also discuss a few body language tips in the upcoming section. Stay tuned!
- Elaborate on your professional style: Follow the formal dress code and stay confident. Try to choose neutral colors for your business attire and look polished. Avoid heavy or traditional jewelry, and minimize accessories. The motive to NOT to look vibrant. Wear scratch-free and neat shows.
- Stay alive to your mental health. I have seen that mental health affects performance, and no wonder it directly hits the candidate’s mind while sitting in front of the panel. Moreover, paralinguistics is highly sensitive to mental health conditions. It will indeed reflect in your gestures, postures, and paralanguage communication during your interview if you are nervous or shy. Do yoga and meditation to stay light and find peace.
And you’re prepped!
Nonverbal Communication | Essential Tips for Job Interviews
So, now that you are sussed with the preparation strategy, I am highly obliged to offer a few tips to help you with the during-the-interview procedure utilizing your paralanguage and body postures.
- Stand straight. Do not dodge or free your shoulder movement. Allow your shoulder to get the optimal posture. This reflects competence with what you have.
- Maintain a formal professional smile and greet the hiring managers (even if there is more than one person in the panel) mannerly.
- Do not slouch or lean back. It will give casual vibes and reduces the sincerity in your posture.
- Maintain a balanced tone throughout your communication. Too high or low pitch can work against you. Do not indicate too much excitement or nervousness. Be neutral with your vocal cords while maintaining the flow of politeness.
- Keep your eye contact. Look straight into the eyes, do not look here, there, up the ceiling, or towards the table. Strong and confident eye contact shows you’re confident and believe me! It is not at tough as moving a mountain.
- Be a good listener. Interrupting anyone, be it your personal or professional situation, is considered disrespectful behavior. Listen to understand, not to respond. Even if you know the answer right from the beginning, let them complete, hear carefully, and then answer.
- Create an alignment between your back and the chair’s lower back. It will help you to sit straight.
- Control your emotions. Once in a while, they may ask something that holds a tight grip on your emotions. Do not let your words, tone, or posture show that.
- Give respect and pay attention. Lean a little forward in your chair and give importance to them and their words. Soften your features to enhance approachability towards them.
- Be firm and strong during the handshakes.
Communicate Nonverbally Online
These points will be of service to you the best when giving a face-to-face interview, but definitely, a scenario is slightly distinctive while you are giving the online interviews. You are welcome! Because I have some wisdom to share with you in that case.
Take a look!
Well, most of the above-mentioned tips will work even if you are online. But I believe you need to be attentive and responsive to add value to your candidature. Sometimes, it becomes difficult for the interviewer to catch and judge your expressions, and they only determine your speech tone. So, take good care of your voice modulation and speed.
Make sure to have a great internet connection 15 minutes before the interview. Select a non-disturbing environment and a simple place to sit. Avoid the hefty decorated backgrounds. All these things affect your performance as well as your presence of mind and behavior.
For example, suppose you are sitting where your family is discussing a matter. In that case, you may have to repeat your answer or ask them to say it again, which is quite irritating and good time wastage, leaving an impression of a non-serious personality of you.
How to Communicate Nonverbally While Leaving?
It’s easy! You must say thank you with your gorgeous smile, give a firm handshake and leave with small steps. Don’t forget the receptionist. Say goodbye to them too. Push the chair back to its original position. Even if you are unsatisfied with the experience or offer, do not let it show on your face.
If you are giving an online interview, let them leave first after your interview. Do not say a casual bye and leave in a hurry. Be respectful!
Remember, they take note of everything!
- Nonverbal communication is equally important as verbal communication.
- You need to be proficient in your nonlexical communication too.
- Do not underestimate the significance of postures, tone, gestures, and expressions.
- You must practice and prepare for paralinguistic communication too.
- Be respectful, follow the norms of professionalism, and control your emotions.
- Leave with positive vibes, and remember a firm handshake.