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The Eyes are the Windows to the Job Offer

It’s the day of your interview,                                                                                                                 your black blazer is ironed and lint brushed,                                                                                 you’ve done your reseamsirch on the company, reviewed your talking points, and your handshake is just firm enough to make a lasting first impression… or so you thought. You didn’t prepare to maintain eye contact with the Hiring Manager and, all other preparation aside, you are unable to convince them you really want the job. Ironically, the importance of eye contact in a professional setting can often be overlooked. It is important to understand what your eyes can be “saying” during an interview.

Looking Straight Up: Motioning your eyes up usually conveys that you are in the middle of a thought. This can signal that you are trying to remember words you’ve prepared or visualizing an answer after being asked a situational or behavioral question.

Looking up and to the left: specifically signifies you’re remembering, this usually occurs in an interview when you’re asked a question, trying to process it, and relating it to a past event.

Looking up and to the right: specifically signifies you’re visualizing, mainly, this occurs when you’re able to picture something that happened recently. Also, your eyes may shift this way when assessing the logic in a question you’ve been asked.

It is in your best interest to practice maintaining eye contact even when thinking through an answer. A Hiring Manager can interpret frequent looking up as a lack of focus/interest in the conversation.

Looking Down: AVOID! Looking down signifies insecurity, defeat, and/or guilt. A manager’s ultimate goal is to hire someone that they have confidence in. How can they have confidence in you if you don’t show you have confidence in yourself? Your eyes have the power to give your nerves away, don’t let them. When it comes to less looking down, practice makes perfect. Build yourself up, before an interview remind yourself that GETTING the interview means you’re qualified and now all that’s left to do is let your personality shine through.

Making Eye Contact: Looking directly into someone’s eyes lets them know you’re interested in the conversation and that you’re not distracted by your surroundings or thoughts. Hiring Managers obviously want to see your interest in the opportunity they’re giving you. Your eyes can be the foremost way to nonverbally tell them – there is no place I’d rather be than at this interview. Eye contact between both parties in the conversation signifies respect. Respect that they’ve taken the time to meet with you and consider you a fit for the company’s opening.

One of the best ways to maintain eye contact is by preparing answers to commonly asked interview questions ahead of time, and then practicing your answers in the mirror or with someone. The internet is a great tool to find the most common interview questions for certain positions and from specific companies. This way you can be prepared and focused on the pair of eyes in front of you!

You can bet the Hiring Manager will be looking at you, so if you want to send the right message make sure you’re looking back. There are many aspects to tackle during an interview, don’t let lack of eye contact be what strips you of an offer. Instead, use this information to captivate and ensure no manager can take their eyes off of you!interview-cartoon

Tori Pollock

Bryant University 2017

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