Body language - why it matters during job interviews

Posted by Design & Construct on 19-Jan-2016 14:02:18

In Architecture, Construction, Engineering, Labour Hire

Passing the CV review phase is a great achievement for any serious job candidate. Employers don't just interview every applicant for the job so making this stage is a real indication that you are suitable. However, it is important to remember that conducting this meeting without professionalism will in most cases see you miss out on a further offer.

One of the most critical aspects of creating a meaningful connection with your interviewers is through body language. In fact, CareerBuilder reports that 50 per cent of employers know within five minutes whether a candidate will cut the mustard or not.

Body language is a major factor of job interviews.
Body language is a major factor of job interviews.

Body language mistakes - what not to do

With this in mind, CareerBuilder polled over 2,500 hiring and human managers to find out what the worst types of body language were and the common mistakes that candidates often make.

By far, the biggest mistake was failing to make eye contact - cited by 67 per cent of respondents. This was followed by not smiling (39 per cent), playing with an item on the table (33 per cent), poor posture (30 per cent) and fidgeting in their seat (also 30 per cent).

CareerBuilder Chief Human Resources Officer Rosemary Haefner explained that poor body language can undermine positive aspects of someone's career history or skill set.

"Preparing for an interview takes a lot more than Googling answers to common interview questions," she said.

"Candidates have to make a great first impression appearance-wise, have a solid understanding of the target company, know exactly how to convey that they're the perfect fit for the job and control their body language."

The science of body language

When thinking about your body language before the next industry job interview, it is vital to understand the impact it can have. According to a 2015 presentation from CraftCV, 55 per cent of a first impression comes from body language, compared to 38 per cent from the voice tone and 7 per cent of spoken words.

Close to 95 per cent of messages between humans are communicated through nonverbal means.

In fact, close to 95 per cent of messages between humans are communicated through nonverbal means, highlighting the importance of sitting up straight and holding positive eye contact with the hiring team.




How to improve your body language

Some people are naturally nervous which means behaviour that could be deemed poor body language is just their way of reacting to a situation. However, in this case and many others, practice does make perfect.

Mark Bowden, author of Hello Job! How to Psych Up, Suit Up, & Show Up, told Monster Career Advice that practicing elements such as handshaking can ensure you hit the mark when put on the spot.

Of course, it can also be beneficial to talk to the team at Design & Construct who can help you ensure your interview technique and CV are up to standard. For more information, feel free to contact us today.