It’s time for some honesty: when you meet someone for the first time, do you only listen to what they say, or do you also notice what they are wearing, their gesticulation, posture, and tone of voice?
A person constantly “fixing” their clothes suddenly makes you nervous? Someone holding their head down while talking to you makes you start wondering if they aren’t listening or if they are perhaps sad?
Just as in everyday interactions, non-verbal communication matters at job interviews as well. Controlling the unspoken, wordless messages you are sending means you can improve your chances of getting a job.
However, we know you are probably tired of articles telling you how to ace your job interviews or what to do to or say to get hired. That's why we decided to make this more interesting.
How about we take the opposite route and introduce you to 10 ways how NOT to nail the job?
No.1 Dress to Distress
T-shirts with offensive writings and drawings? Bring it on! Inappropriate clothes are something that will definitely raise eyebrows and make the recruiters wonder if you even care about the position and if this messiness is something that reflects on your work ethic.
No.2 Don’t Part With Your Phone
Constantly looking at your phone and not turning off the notification sounds…those are perfect ways to show disinterest and lack of respect and to make the recruiter want to cut the interview short. You are on an excellent path to not getting hired.
No.3 Act Like a Finger Fidget
There’re few things as distracting as someone who never stops fidgeting. Make sure you spin in the chair and, for special effect, cross your arms across your chest to look defensive whenever you get a question you don’t like. At this point, the interviewer must be wondering about your attention span.
No.4 Interrupt Whenever Possible
Don’t let the recruiters speak. Guess their thoughts and stop their questions and responses with your incessant comments. Throw in a few loud sighs, so they start wondering how such a rude person has managed to hold on to any job longer than 3 months.
No.5 Don’t Ask Any Questions
If you don’t ask questions, you are obviously not interested in the position, salary, company culture, opportunities for advancement, or anything else. It’s a clear signal that you don’t want to have anything to do with the company. So just cross your arms and shrug your shoulders, for example.
No.6 Look Everywhere but the Recruiter
Spinning in the chair AND looking at the wall behind the recruiter? Wow, you’ve got some top-notch evasive maneuvers! Making eye contact would mean you are interested and confident in your abilities - but you don’t want this job, right?
No.7 Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill
We all know that recruiters do a background check and that they read CVs and go through portfolios carefully. If you blatantly lie or exaggerate, they won’t have any other choice but to put your CV in the ‘no’ pile. So there you go, boast away with all you’ve got if you like being “noped”!
No.8 Chew Gum or Suck on a Mint
Smacking your gum loudly while chewing or popping bubbles? At this stage, the recruiters are undergoing an out-of-body experience and wondering if they can find your mother’s phone number to ask if you were like this as a teenager. One thing’s sure: you won’t communicate effectively or appear confident with gum in your mouth.
No.9 Sit Too Close to the Recruiter
Although different cultures have different perspectives on what’s the appropriate distance between two people interacting, you can be sure that the recruiter, a person who is most likely seeing you for the first time, won’t like you sitting too close. And if you want to cut the interview significantly short, take the liberty to touch the interviewer’s arm occasionally while talking.
In short, act as if you’ve never heard about the term “personal space”.
No.10 Don’t Thank the Recruiter for Their Time
Why would you? It’s not like you value the company’s interest in you or respect their time. Don’t shake hands, don’t wish them a nice day — you don’t want to leave a good impression, right?
Do the Exact Opposite
Truth be told, most of these non-verbal signals we send out are unconscious, but the trick is to become aware of them and strive to subdue them.
It’s natural to be nervous, but for example, if you know you tend to shake your leg up and down in such situations, you should try your best not to do it. Movement like that can be distracting and draw the interviewer's attention away from the important things you are saying.
So, if you want to get a job: re-read the blog, and do the exact opposite.