About nonverbal expressions

One of the many forms of nonverbal communication people use is facial expressions. During an interview these can be a tell tale sign of being connected or just wanting to get through the meeting. It can also make or break the interview.

Facial Expressions During An Interview

Facial expressions during an interview can either add or contradict what you say to the employer. Your facial expressions need to be in sync with your voice and tone the entire interview. Here are some tips which may help:

  • Show positive facial expressions during an interview
  • Smile - this shows you are happy and comfortable to be at the interview
  • Look interested - avoid looking bored, stone-faced or distracted; keep your focus on the employer during the interview as it shows you are connected with the process
  • Show enthusiasm - your eyes can show all kinds of emotion. During an interview facial expressions need to show enthusiasm and interest in not only the position, but the employer and their company

Eye Contact

Eye contact is one thing employer's will look for from the moment they first see you. This is a critical part of facial expressions during an interview. Appropriate eye contact will show the following:

  • Interested
  • Attentive
  • Approachable

Some things to avoid concerning eye contact:

  • Do not stare
  • Do not avert your eyes
  • Do not let your eyes wander

Use positive reinforcement gestures such as nodding while listening which can demonstrate being connected to what the employer is saying as well as alertness.

Hand Signals

Another nonverbal expression which many people overlook is the use of their hands. Beyond facial expressions during an interview, hand movements can show a variety of emotion and a lack of being connected with the employer. Some of the more noticeable hand signals you would want to avoid include:

  • Closing and opening your hands - this shows nervousness as you seem to be trying to find something else to do
  • Tapping fingers or hands - this also signals nervousness and possibly fear
  • Scratching - this shows boredom and a lack of interest
  • Rubbing - this appears as you would rather be someplace else
  • Clenching fists - this shows an anger issue
  • Hands folded in front of your face - this appears as if you are hiding behind yourself
  • Hands shoved in pockets - this appears as if you are trying to get away with something

Being connected during the interview is more than just the vocal tone and level; it is also the facial expression during the entire interview process as well as any other nonverbal signals from the moment you enter the building until you leave the building.