What you didn't know you were saying in your interview

Stephen O'Brien 21.01.2017

The process of finding a new job has many twists and turns. There are so many different things to think about:

  • Which roles should you apply for?
  • How should you apply?
  • How should you format your CV?


Then once you get that allusive interview there is another minefield of issues to manoeuvre around including researching the company, relating your CV to the job specifications and preparing your sample answers.

Once you are in the room with your potential new manager there is an important third concept to consider, your body language! This is something that is often cast to one side as unimportant. In contrast, there are the other people that consider themselves to be very aware of their body language and how to control it. A lot of body language is subconscious so it requires some effort on your part to ensure it is saying what you want it to say, 'I am alert, eager and enthusiastic' and not 'I am nervous and unsure of my abilities' or worse 'I am over confident and this is all just a formality.'

Here are a few tips to ensure you display the right body language in an interview:

1. Practice, practice, practice

As with all things, especially in relation to interview techniques, practising your body language ahead of time is key. Here at Morgan McKinley we are happy to help you with your interview preparation by conducting mock interviews before the formal event. Just speak to your consultant.

2. Be aware during the interview

Plan beforehand how you want to come across. You always want to appear confident in what you are saying. Straight posture, direct eye contact and having a calm demeanour will speak volumes to an employer as well as build confidence in yourself throughout the interview.

3. Handle your hands

Many people feel uncomfortable or unsure of what to do with their hands in an interview. Normally when people are nervous or anxious they fiddle with things and fidget, touching their hair or face. What this can communicate is not only nervousness but can also be considered a 'tell' for somebody telling a lie, perhaps in relation to your experience or education. Keeping your arms uncrossed and hands by your sides or on your lap shows you are open to communication and that you are calm. Feel free to use your hands when explaining something as showing your open hands is considered a gesture of openness.

4. Communication works both ways

It is equally important to take note of what your interviewers body language is communicating to you. Often, if an interviewer sits back while you are answering a question it will be a 'tell' that perhaps your answer is too long, not specific enough or you have gone off the point. Stop yourself and ask the question, 'have I answered  the question?' Also, if they lean away from you, you may be invading their personal space therefore, making the interviewer uncomfortable.

At Morgan McKinley we pride ourselves on being able to provide a full personable recruitment service, from beginning to end. If you find you are falling at the interview hurdle, contact us and we will be happy to work with you in securing your next role.

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