The Importance of Eye Contact in a Job Interview

The saying "the eyes are the window to the soul" is a popular one. According to hiring experts, an interviewer can tell whether you are telling the truth or lying through eye contact, or lack of. Interviewers can often pay a lot of attention to your eyes and body language during an interview. This means that the importance of eye contact in non-verbal communication holds a great deal of importance.  

Eye contact in non-verbal communication.

Eye contact is a form of non-verbal communication that is particularly significant because most individuals rely on their vision more than any other sense. Your gaze might convey a variety of meanings to the person you are looking at, including attention, affection, hatred, or attraction.

Maintaining eye contact is essential for a number of reasons, including keeping the flow of the discussion going and determining the level of attention and responsiveness exhibited by the other person.

The interviewer may learn a lot about your personality from the way you look, whether it is up, down, away, or when you make direct eye contact.

It makes perfect sense to experience anxiety during an interview. A fantastic method to project confidence during an interview is to keep eye contact with the interviewer. Maintaining eye contact in an interview shows that you are interested despite your lack of confidence.

Direct eye contact in an interview demonstrates professionalism, conveys trust, and is polite. According to interviewers, it is quite normal for the candidates to feel nervous during an interview. The most successful candidates are those who can sustain eye contact, and the most engaging ones are those whose eyes light up when discussing a certain subject.

Absence of eye contact.

When a candidate answers a question with a gaze down at the ground, it leads the interviewers to make judgments. Is this a result of the candidate having to concoct a lie, or is it simply a case of lack of interest? When someone refuses to look at you, you start to get the uneasy impression that they are concealing something. Making direct eye contact at first and then gazing around the room during the interview is also a warning sign. Consistency is what makes for exceptional employees, and interviewers appreciate and expect it from candidates.

Sometimes an interview question may baffle you, and you may need a minute to come up with an answer. It is okay to look away briefly to collect your thoughts, just do not do it for too long. It will appear more like you are making up the answer the longer you take. Look away if you need a moment, then make eye contact again and ask a follow-up question. This shows that even if you have heard what they are saying, you want to ensure you fully understand.

The distinction between a stare and direct eye contact.

Direct eye contact in an interview can be unsettling when it is very intense or focused. The interview becomes difficult for everyone when fast blinking is added to the equation. The best way to think of direct eye contact is as a type of engagement. Focus like this conveys the message: “I’m interested in what you have to say” and it improves your likeability. 

The interview process consumes everyone's time. Moving further depends on you demonstrating to an interviewer that you are interested in the job.

Leave your anxiety and nervousness at the door.

Before and during a job interview, most people feel a little anxious, nervous or confused. Nerves are a natural response to an important event and simply indicate that you care about the role on offer. Accept that these emotions are normal, and use these suggestions to maintain your composure during the interview. 

Imagining success.

Top performers in all fields employ visualisation strategies to combat anxiety. Running through the interview in your brain before it happens is all that visualisation entails. Imagine yourself entering the space with a sense of composure and command. Imagine answering questions with poise and confidence, connecting well with the interviewers, and feeling good about your performance as you leave the room. You can maintain your composure in the days leading up to the interview by concentrating on the best-case scenario. 

Develop your reactions.

Fear of the unknown, anxiety about freezing, or worry that you may say the wrong things are common causes of interview jitters. You will feel more at ease and secure in your ability to give concise, convincing answers on the day of the interview if you practise responses to frequently asked topics. Try practicing them aloud with a friend to get feedback on how you present your answers and responses.

Get ready.

You will be more at ease during the interview if you take the time to prepare. Verify the interviewer's name, phone number, arrival time, and attire before the interview. Make sure you have the necessary paperwork, such as your resume and samples of prior work, available. In case you are delayed, give yourself plenty of time to travel. Additionally, it will allow you to regain composure before the interview. 

Practicing patience.

When you are anxious during an interview, you could be inclined to speak quickly or perhaps forget the first question. Breathe deeply, give the question some thought, and then concentrate on speaking your response slowly and clearly. If you cannot remember the question asked, avoid giving an answer that you think might be. Instead, remain composed and ask them to further clarify it for you.

Positive thoughts.

The pressure you feel during an interview can be significantly reduced by altering the way you think about it. Consider the interview as a challenge to overcome rather than something you are being assessed on. Remind yourself of your accomplishments in the past and focus on your best qualities for the position. Avoid placing pressure on yourself to provide flawless answers or worrying about things you have no control over, like the competition. Instead, put all your efforts into conducting the best interview you can.

The key to lowering anxiety at an interview is preparation.

Keep in mind the benefits of making direct eye contact, including confidence, likeability, and reliability. When speaking with friends and relatives, try to maintain eye contact. You could realise, that lately, you haven't been paying them any attention. One-on-one talks have been displaced by text messaging in our fast-paced, technologically advanced world. We are less accustomed to having private chats, which causes us to be more anxious than ever during interviews. Practice saying "thank you" while looking the grocery store clerk in the eye. Decide to leave your nerves at the door when it comes time for your interview.

Your first step into an organisation is to land an interview, make sure that your body language and eye contact ensures you make it to the next step.

Article contributed by Simply Law