It’s a well-known fact that you can’t make a first impression twice, so in job interviews it’s absolutely paramount for you to walk in there looking confident and ensuring that is the imprint that you leave on your prospective employers. Of course, the content of what you say in response to the questions will have the biggest effect on whether you get the nod or not, but when competition is rife – as it tends to be for media jobs right across the spectrum – it’s wise to consolidate your case on every front; that’s where body language comes in.
We all probably know the basics of body language, (crossed arms means your defences are up, touching your face means you’re unsure), but in reality it’s much more than just the way carry yourself. Below, we go through a few choice tips to keep in mind next time you walk through the doors of your (potentially) new boss.
Assert yourself – sit up straight
It’s probably the golden rule of job interview body language, but we’ll include it anyway just to start with. You’ve read all the articles about posture and you’ve worried that your new leather chair at work may be fast-tracking you to a world of back pain during your retirement, but has that made you sit up straight all day, every day at work? No, we didn’t think so. However, there’s always room for improvement and what better time to try out the straight-backed approach than a job interview?
With your back firmly placed up against the back of your chair, you’ll exude nothing but confidence and self-assurance. The more natural this looks and feels, the better; proactivity means positivity in an interview scenario, and that is exactly what this stance suggests.
Show your openness with hand gestures
Although it may sound like a paranoid overhang from the Victorian era, not having your hands on display can still be interpreted as a sign of mistrust. To combat this, the solution is simple – utilise positive hand gestures to express your thoughts and feelings, and your half way to presenting yourself as a candidate that is not only enthusiastic but genuine, too.
Of course, we must stress that moderation is key on this front. Too many hand gestures are never a good thing, but in a job interview it is particularly important you deploy them in a manner that errs on the side of confidence rather than calamity.
Nod your head to show you’re listening and planning your response
Again, perhaps an obvious one, but from our experience we can tell you that the head nod is vastly underrated in an interview situation. While eye contact is encouraged, it’s not necessarily the be-all and end-all of proving that you’re enjoying the discussion and actively looking to contribute; nodding is a slightly more relaxed way of highlighting your attentiveness, and inadvertently sets you up to ease into a response to the question at hand.
As with our above point, moderation is advised – while he may have been effective selling car insurance, we remain unconvinced that the Churchill approach is appropriate if you’re looking to secure one of media’s top positions.
Keep your head out of the clouds and your feet on the ground
As anyone that has tried their hand at amateur dramatics will know, keeping your feet rooted to the ground is the most obvious way of displaying the fact you are a self-assured professional looking to make a positive impact. While the constraints of the theatre stage may be somewhat different to that of the interview room, there are some undoubted parallels between the two – constant fidgeting may be inevitable when trying to put yourself forward to people you’ve never met before, but the more subtle you can make it, the better.
With your feet on the floor, you can switch over almost unnoticed. There’s also some science behind it, too – research has shown that planted plates of meat mean that you can switch between complex rationality and creative thought, a huge advantage in the highly-pressurised circumstances of a top-level interview.
A lean, mean interviewing machine
If you look at all of the powerful figures in the public sphere, from politicians to CEOs, you’ll notice that they all invariably share one body language trait – the lean in. If you manage to pull off a successful lean in while listening to the questions posed to you by your prospective employer, you’ll automatically demonstrate the interest that is needed to secure positions. Shoulders back and down, chest out and there you have it – the lean.
Body language really does separate the cream from the crop, and here at Harrison Dear we are perfectly placed to provide you with the help and guidance you need to secure the position you desire. For more information on the best available media jobs, or any other queries about our services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today.