Have you ever left a job interview feeling like you were a shoo-in, only to receive a “Thanks, but no thanks” reply? While your qualifications may be excellent, and your interview questions superb, the answer could be in what you’re not speaking.

It could be in what you’re saying, non-verbally.
Experts suggest that anywhere from 50 to over 90 percent of communication is non-verbal. Which means you could be unknowingly sabotaging your chance at landing your dream job with non-verbal communications.

Keep yourself on the top of the list, and prevent non-verbal mishaps, by paying attention to the following:

1. First Impressions – No matter how much we like to think they don’t matter, first impressions set the tone and direction of your interview. Start yourself on the right track by walking in the door cooly and confidently, smiling and saying thank you when introducing yourself to a receptionist. You are being judged from the moment you walk in the door, so be sure to pay attention to your demeanor. When waiting for your interviewer, don’t fidget or check your phone. Better yet, leave your phone in the car! By staying calm and professional, you’ll give an impression of confidence and capability, and start the interview on the right foot.

2. Stay Engaged in the Interview – During your interview, nod your head to show listening and comprehension while your interviewer is talking. And maintain an appropriate level of eye contact during the entire interview. Avoiding eye contact gives off an air of dishonesty, and can make you seem distracted and unprofessional. Cross your legs toward the interviewer and lean in slightly. These simple movements signal to the interviewer that you are interested and engaged in the discussion.

3. Successful Handshakes – Some people dread them, others think nothing of them, but handshakes are an essential component to a successful interview. When introducing yourself, and upon the completion of your interview, you will have an opportunity to “seal the deal” with a successful handshake. What makes a successful handshake? A firm, but not overpowering grip shows confidence. Have a problem with sweaty palms? Excuse yourself to the restroom before the interview and wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Or keep a few tissues in your pocket, and use them upon your arrival to wick away any excess moisture. Live by the mantra, “Cool, calm and collected.” A successful handshake will exude professionalism and confidence.

Don’t miss out on your next career opportunity because of non-verbal miscues. And if you need help finding your next career opportunity, Masiello Employment Services can help.