Appear Likable

Most people who have been invited to a job interview have already been "screened in." They supposedly possess the basic qualifications for the job, such as education and work experience.

At this point, employers will look for several qualities in the candidates, such as honesty, credibility, intelligence, competence, enthusiasm, spontaneity, friendliness, and likability.

Much of the message communicating these qualities will be conveyed through the candidates' attire as well as through other nonverbal behaviors. Four of the most important nonverbal behaviors include:

  1. Sit with a very slight lean toward the interviewer.
    It should be so slight as to be almost imperceptible. It communicates your interest in what the interviewer is saying.

  2. Make eye contact frequently, but don't overdo it.
    Good eye contact establishes rapport with the interviewer. You will be perceived as more trustworthy if you will look at the interviewer as you ask and answer questions.

    To have a direct, though moderate eye gaze communicates interest as well as trustworthiness.

  3. A moderate amount of smiling will also help to reinforce your positive image.
    You should smile enough to communicate your positive attitude, but not so much that you will not be taken seriously.

  4. Try to communicate interest and enthusiasm through your vocal inflections.
    Your tone of voice can say a lot about you and how interested you are in the interviewer and organization.

SOURCE: Adapted from Military Transition to Civilian Success (Impact Publications) pages 376-377. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.