When you sit down for your interview with a potential employer, you’ll use your words to frame your background and credentials in the best possible light. Your descriptions and explanations will add depth and dimension to your resume, and you’ll answer every question that comes you way with style and aplomb.

But your words won’t be your only tool. You’ll also be making use your gestures, posture, and facial expression. Even your breathing rate and the pauses between your sentences will add color and meaning to the things you say. And if you control your non-verbal body language, you’ll be more likely to send the right message. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Start BEFORE you enter the room.

Even as you travel to the venue and walk in the front door of the building, become the kind of person you would hire if you were in your interviewers shoes. Hold you head up high. Walk with a steady, confident gait. Smile and make eye contact with those in your path. Start thinking about these things before you reach the door—don’t try to undergo a full-body transformation at the threshold.

Handshake, smile, eyes.

This is the three-part gesture that begins every traditional interview session in almost every industry. It’s as old as time (almost) and as universal as cubicles and coffee makers. And yet, some candidates are still caught off guard by the extended hand and they still stare at the floor and mumble when it’s time look up and smile. Why does this happen? Because they’re nervous. And that’s okay. But for the three seconds it takes to execute this opening move, put your nerves on hold and step up.

Own your chair.

When you’re offered a chair, go ahead and have a seat. And as you do so, have the whole seat. Take over the entire chair, don’t perch at the edge. Don’t treat the chair like a borrowed object that you’re hoping to hand back in perfect condition. The chair is not a favor or a handout that you don’t deserve. You do deserve it. For the duration of the interview, make it your home.

Everything you say is true, important, and valuable.

From the first moment of the interview to the last, every word that comes out of your mouth will be important. There’s only one thing that this person (or people) have come here to listen to: your words. Your thoughts, opinions and stories are the reason for the meeting. So share them with dignity and generosity. Pause for two full seconds to assemble your thoughts before you speak. Your listener will be happy to wait.

For more on how to use your hands, face and voice to make a strong impression during your interview session, turn to the staffing and job search team at Expert Staffing.

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