Here's great news for people like me who hate the advice that a firm handshake is crucial to leaving a good first impression. (I'm more of the "cold hands, warm heart" camp — I can't help it!)
As new survey data from staffing firm OfficeTeam finds, among 300-plus senior managers, eye contact during an interview was actually the most telling non-verbal cue about a job candidate.
The Most Telling Body Language Cues About a Job Candidate
1. Eye contact
2. Facial expressions
5. Fidgeting/habitual movements
6. Hand gestures
Appropriate facial expressions and good posture also topped the list — but fidgeting and hand gestures weren't as important (so maybe focus more on looking your interviewer in the eye rather than what to do with your hands).
Overall, positive body language might be more important than you'd think. The managers reported that 30% of candidates displayed negative body language during interviews, which could hurt their job prospects — and the changing way in which we communicate could be partly to blame.
“As we get more and more into email and texting, the art of interpersonal communication is diminishing,” said Daryl Pigat, a division director for OfficeTeam, to MarketWatch.
This might make you rethink how you practice for your next job interview. Rehearsing for your new role ahead of time can help you ace the performance. But phoning a friend to perfect your lines might not be enough — meeting in-person to go through a trial round or doing a video call with someone you trust might help you better understand what non-verbal cues you're giving off.
So while you put the finishing touches on your elevator pitch, don't forget what you say is important — but how you say it is, too.