The first impression is the last impression!!
We are sure this is not the first time you have heard this phrase. Make a remarkable first impression, and there you are, basking in the glory of your success.
Be it a personal or a professional world, first impressions can either end your journey in a few minutes or take you on a long and stable ride of your life.
Research says that it takes merely 5 to 15 seconds to form a first impression about someone. How bizarre is that! Surprisingly, it is accurate, and it would not be wrong to say that you get only one chance to make a good and lasting first impression.
Learning and perfecting non-verbal communication skills is the most effective way to do so. Nonverbal communication skill is a crucial and decision influencing factor in a job interview.
People often miss out on practising their nonverbal communication skills and focus on their verbal responses while preparing for an interview. Exactly this is where they lose out on a chance to get some easy brownie points.
Let’s learn more about non-verbal communication, types of nonverbal communication skills and the best ways to use them in an interview.
What is Non-Verbal Communication?
Communication is more than an exchange of words. And that more is what non-verbal communication is all about!
Non-Verbal Communication is our body language, which includes hand gestures, dressing sense, facial expressions, and sitting posture in front of a person.
Whether we are aware of it, we continuously receive and give communicative signals while interacting with another person.
We smile when someone compliments us, move hands while talking, or maintain eye contact while speaking- all are parts of non-verbal communication. Even while we are silent, we are still communicating non-verbally.
In both professional and personal life, the key to success lies in the ability to communicate well. Our body language talks more about our personality, attitude, and mannerism. So, let’s make productive use of that!
Importance of Non-verbal Communication in Interviews
Sangeet and Susan were best friends from their childhood. Sangeet was brilliant in his studies. Teachers always praised him for his behaviour and academic performance. Susan was above average and always organised. She was good in arts, drama, and sports.
They both graduated from the same college in 2019, and both have Bachelors certifications in Accountancy. Today, they are ready to step into the professional world together.
Before the interview, Susan had researched the company they both have applied to together. She rehearsed her interview and referred to some articles. On the other hand, Sangeet was determined. He also read some interview questions and confidently reached the office.
While interviewing Susan, the interviewers asked her some difficult questions. There were times where she was stuck and sounded a little nervous. At the other round, Sangeet was asked similar questions. He confidently answered all their questions and impressed the recruiters.
However, Susan got selected!
During the interview, Susan answered all the questions decently. She maintained eye contact, gave proper hand gestures, and maintained decent tonality while answering.
In comparison, Sangeet had responded to all the questions correctly but failed to maintain professionalism. He didn’t maintain eye contact, sat still, and fluctuated his tone every time he answered.
During interviews, non-verbal communication plays a pivotal role in hiring a candidate. Your non-verbal communication cues- the way you listen, explain and react- demonstrate your sincerity to the interviewers.
When your non-verbal signal matches with the words you are saying, it increases trust and clarity. When they don’t, it generates confusion and bad remarks.
Types of Non-verbal Communication Skills
Non-Verbal communications are complicated. To better understand, we present you with five-crucial types of non-communication skills that are significant for job seekers.
- Body Language
Body language is the first non-verbal communication that demonstrates your emotions, concerns, and thoughts in an interview.
A strong body language increases the chances of your recruitment process. It also helps to grab the attention of the listeners and convey your deal to them.
Following are some crucial things to keep proper body language:
- Body Posture
- Hand Gesture
- Walking Style
- Firm Handshake
If we meet someone for the first time, especially in formal meetings like an interview, we must maintain distance while speaking.
By maintaining a proper distance, we can talk properly and convey our message easily. Proximity demonstrates your decency and etiquette, especially in business meetings with clients.
Here are some tips for keeping a suitable distance:
- Never lean on the table while you are speaking.
- Keep a 5-foot gap while walking behind a person
- Stand upright and shake hands.
- Eye Contact
Like we said in our case study, maintaining eye contact is very crucial while talking to people. It demonstrates your confidence, thoughts, and respect towards the other person.
Also, eye contact indicates your emotions. While you talk with the interviewers, they can understand whether you are honest with them or not.
Following are some pointers that will help you to maintain eye contact while talking in an interview:
- Use a 50/70 ratio to maintain eye contact. 50% while speaking and 70% while listening to the interviewers.
- Make eye contact before you start talking with the interviewers.
- Look away slowly. Never rush to look down.
- Look at nearby regions of the eye of your interviewer. It will help to ease the tension.
- Dress Code
The first judgement of a potential interviewer depends on how you look.
A formal dress represents your professionalism and decency. A nice, sophisticated formal dress code increases 50% chances of your hiring. What we wear in an interview can influence the recruiters.
How to Make Use of Nonverbal Communication Skills in an Interview
Now that you know the do’s and don’ts of non-verbal communication skills, it is time to use them wisely.
Let’s discuss the use of non-verbal communication skills during the three interview stages. They are before, during, and after the interview.
Before the Interview
- Read articles and blogs related to the interview questions of your field of work. See how the candidates have answered those questions.
- Use a voice recorder while practising your answers. Hear your answers and try to identify the flaws.
- For improving facial expressions, practise those answers in front of a mirror. Make hand gestures and maintain a smile on your face. It will boost your confidence.
- Practise mock interviews with your friends or family. It can help you to correct your answers or improvise them.
During the Interview
- Walk in the premises with a firm body posture. Put a smile on your face and shake hands with the interviewer(s).
- Before answering their first question, always greet them formally.
- Maintain decent eye contact while answering or listening to them. It creates a positive impact on your recruitment process.
- Due to anxiety or out of habit, many candidates have quirks. They shake their legs, tap on the desk, or fidget with phones. Please avoid that.
After the Interview
- At the end of the interview, wrap up with a smile. Politely shake hands with your interviewers and greet them.
- Walk out with confidence. Also, please make sure to take your belongings in an organised manner.
Practise Makes Everyone Perfect!
We hope we could help you figure out the importance and ways to use non-verbal communications in an interview. Please refer to our blogs sections to know more about common questions an interviewer asks during an interview.
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