Eye contact is very important when it comes to an interview. Although having poor eye contact might be due to nervousness or shyness, it is something that must be tackled in order to give you a better chance at landing a job. In fact, if you are not looking at your interviewer as you speak, you might be missing a lot of non-verbal cues that could tell you what he or she is thinking,for example, if your answers are too short, or if they liked your answer to a question.
Good eye contact gives you insight into those who are interviewing you. His or her posture, facial expressions, and tone can tell you a lot about what he or she is thinking, but is missed when you are looking down at the table. Everyone is born with rapport skills; you use them with family and friends all the time. Overcoming your lack of eye contact and using these skills for a brief time can help with the interview process.
Not only is eye contact important, but body language also. If you walk into an interview with slumped shoulders, low head, and lacking confidence, the interviewer will have a bad first impression of you from the beginning. No one wants a lawyer who seems very timid. Before you walk through the door, put yourself in a positive mindset; it will help boost your confidence and show in when you walk in.
In addition to having good eye contact, don’t stare the person down. Find a balance that comes natural to you as you flow through conversations. Another tip for you if you naturally look down often: bring a notebook and pen. It gives you an excuse to look down from the person as you jot down notes. Finally, if you have more than one interviewer in the room, give them eye contact equally, not just the one asking all the questions.
Working on improving your eye contact and body language can make a huge difference in the way an interviewer perceives you. Everyone wants a confident lawyer, and being comfortable with making natural eye contact will help even as your career progresses into working with clients. Remember to practice whenever you can, like shopping or talking to strangers, and you will improve your skills in no time. As time passes and you gain more experience making eye contact and reading body language, interviews will seem less stressful and you will gain a better chance at landing a job at your dream law firm.