We’ve always been reminded about the importance of eye contact in daily conversations. But how important is it when it comes to job interviews? Open Access BPO, a provider of call center support services, explains how keeping eye contact during your job interview can help you get hired.
If you are talking to someone who won’t look straight at you, wouldn’t there be a sense of mistrust in the conversation you’re having? This holds true, especially during job interviews. Everything a job applicant does or says is being observed during a face-to-face interview. Eye contact is not an exemption.
Although nervousness or shyness are expected causes of poor eye contact, not being able to look your interviewer in the eyes for the most part of the conversation will always be taken against you. In fact, by not looking at your interviewer’s face, you also miss out on non-verbal cues that can guide you during the interview.
Establishing rapport through eye contact
Before proceeding to the interview, remind yourself that your first goal is to establish rapport with your interviewer. By keeping this in mind from the moment you enter the interview room, maintaining eye contact will be a natural way of eliciting sincerity that will lead to rapport. You may be overwhelmed by your nervousness, but by focusing on one simple goal at the start of your interview, you can keep yourself calm and make a good initial impression.
Observe your interviewer’s posture, gestures, and facial expressions. If you are looking at the floor, you will miss these body responses and fail to act on them accordingly.
Everyone has rapport skills. You use it every day with your family and peers, although oftentimes unconsciously. You cannot sustain a casual conversation if you don’t know how to set the right mood for it. By reminding yourself that you just need to make your interviewer like you, these rapport skills will effortlessly work to your favor. By maintaining eye contact, this goal is accomplished by 50%. Of course, how you behave is never enough to impress people —what you say also matters.
The importance of body language
Keep in mind that your body language can say a lot about you. Even when we’re not talking, we still communicate using our body. Be careful on what message you send using your body, especially with your eye contact. Poor eye contact can be translated to lack of confidence, insincerity, or worst, dishonesty.
Of course, eye contact is not the only non-verbal language you need to be mindful of. Even if it’s something that requires conscious effort, eye contact is only one of the many forms of body language that should be used wisely. The best way to keep yourself in your best shape is by equipping yourself with a positive state of mind before entering the room.
True, there are other people vying for the same position you’re applying for. But remember, you wouldn’t be called for an interview if hiring managers didn’t see something special about you. So prove to them that they made the right decision. Greet your interviewer confidently, look him in the eyes, and everything else will just flow smoothly as you build your credibility and work your way to a successful job interview.