You could be forgiven for thinking that an interview is a one way process, that…
John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
Interviews are a crucial part of the career progression process for any business valuation professional; they are the gateway to a promotion and/or a higher paying job. This is why business valuation professionals should always be looking to hone their interview skills, particularly if you have not interviewed for some time as you will be rusty.
One area that is often overlooked in the area of interview technique is body language; yes, interview advice tends to be more technical and focus on providing the correct verbal responses. These technical areas are of course important, but body language has a huge part to play in how you are perceived at interview, yet many experienced professionals neglect it and have developed bad habits. This is why I thought it was a good time to provide a body language refresher and outline 4 simple body language tips which if followed can help you appear more convincing at interview.
Stand firm in those first 30 seconds; Research by the University of Toledo suggests that you have just 30 seconds to impress an interviewer as this is how long it takes for them to form a long lasting impression of you. Don’t sleep walk through the opening encounter with your interviewer as it could be costly; rather, be mindful, remember the firm handshake (or at least match the pressure), maintain good eye contact and present a warm smile.
Regular eye contact is crucial. This cannot be underestimated as a study from Winona State University shows that when all things are equal between two candidates, the one maintaining appropriate eye contact is seen as more competitive and more employable. Make sure to maintain regular and appropriate eye contact during the interview.
Are you expressive? To be more convincing your facial expression should adjust to suit your message. Practice interviewing with a friend and ask for feedback on how expressive you are in your communication. You don’t need acting classes, just be natural, expressive and more convincing.
Chin up. Adopt a positive posture – which includes: not slouching, sitting up straight with your head up, and using hand and face gestures to reflect emotion or deep thought.
These tips may appear obvious on paper, but when we are under interview pressure, they can be quickly forgotten and bad habits can creep in, so complacency is the enemy and awareness and rehearsal is our friend when it comes to interview body language.