Congratulations! You worked hard on your resume, and now the job of your dreams is just on the other side of this interview. You are confident in your skills, and you know you will be a great fit for this company. So, why are you so nervous? Hopefully you are reading this article before your big day, so you have time to prepare. Let’s run down some helpful body language tips and tricks to ace a job interview.
BODY LANGUAGE BASICS
You may know to practice what you plan to say in your interview, but have you practiced your interview body language? Sometimes our non-verbal communication says much more than our verbal communication or sends a completely different message altogether. You can achieve congruency in communications through practicing open body posture. Open body posture is vital to any first impression. This looks very much how it sounds – shoulders relaxed, back and down (away from the ears), and arms resting at sides with visible palms. Eye contact and a solid handshake affirm self-confidence and build trust with the interviewer.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Being familiar with the service menu, the skin care lines they carry, and any recent current events (through social media) shows preparedness and professionalism. Interviewers appreciate a studious candidate and will be happy to field questions about the company at the appropriate moment in the interview.
If you tend to be a person who avoids eye contact, try finding a picture of the interviewer online before the interview. Studies show it will be easier for you to make eye contact in real life if you have been able to practice eye contact with a photo of that person.
PRACTICE A POWER HANDSHAKE
Be the first one to offer a hand so that you control the handshake. Build trust with a great smile. Turn your hand so the palm is facing up, which enhances trust. Match the firmness of their grip. Step a bit closer so their hand is nearer to your body, which gives them a sense of connection.
PRACTICE THOSE INEVITABLE QUESTIONS
Perhaps you have a sizeable gap in your employment history, or you were terminated from your last job. What if they ask about your shortcomings? Or an example of a past conflict with a coworker and how you resolved it? Knowing your answers to these questions ahead of time will allow you to answer them with confidence. If the interviewer does hit you with a curve ball, don’t be afraid to pause and gather yourself before you answer. Try to avoid averting your eyes or shifting your weight in your chair. In poker, a “tell” is a change in a player’s behavior or demeanor that could give clues to that player’s assessment of their hand. The interviewer is trying to read your tell with these questions, so it is especially important to be aware of your body language at this time.
THE INTERVIEW BEGINS AT THE FRONT DESK
Many times, the interviewer will ask the front desk staff for feedback of their first impression of a candidate. So, gather your thoughts and focus your mind before entering the building. Be sure your phone is on silent and you have your paperwork ready. Greet the front desk with a warm smile to convey a relaxed confidence. As you sit and wait for your appointment, remain professional. Refrain from playing on your phone or taking phone calls. Keep nervous conversation to a minimum, particularly if it is a spa where solitude and relaxation are the main focus of the experience.
YOUR SHINING MOMENT
With all you have prepared, this interview will be a breeze. There are just a few more keys to body language communication that will really set you apart.
Try to keep your hands visible during the interview. Feel free to use expressive hand gestures to reinforce what you are saying.
Pay attention to the body language of your interviewer. Are they tired? Distracted? Energized? Mirroring their positive body language (without mocking) may help to level the playing field and make you seem more relatable.
Finish your interview the way you started – with a confident handshake and eye contact. Remember to say goodbye to the front desk and thank them for their assistance.
A job interview is a keyhole glance at you as a candidate. The interviewer has to determine if you are the best fit for their company, which goes far beyond your qualifications on paper. When you communicate, do your words match your gestures or do you unknowingly contradict yourself? Practicing the interview process with a friend or in front of a mirror (or both) will allow you to improve your non-verbal communication skills so your best self shines through, even when your nerves are trying to get the best of you.
Briana McKee is a Texas licensed aesthetician since 2010 and founder and moderator of Texas (A)estheticians Circle on Facebook. Her passion is providing support to spa industry professionals through education and networking. She currently works as a senior business development manager for a leading aesthetic device company.