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The Importance of Smiling in Interviews

While interviews are undoubtedly nerve-wracking and you might feel under some stress and pressure as you answer the questions, it is more important than ever to smile. Smiling is a natural part of any conversation, so going through an entire interview without curling up the edges of your mouth could make you seem stand offish or create a negative mood in the room. Cracking a smile may go further than just relaxing the mood and could in fact play a key role in helping you get a job.

First Impressions

Did you know that it takes the average person just seven seconds to form a first impression of someone? When it comes to job interviews, that’s a startling fact. We all know how important it can be to put forward a great first impression when we are interviewing for a new role, but one thing which you can do to dramatically improve those first few seconds of meeting your interviewer it is to smile. You’ll come across as easy to talk to and enthusiastic about the opportunity, immediately.

Show Confidence

A genuine smile gives the people who see it an insight into all the best parts of your personality. A warm smile exudes confidence, instils trust and convinces those around you that you are approachable and open. These are all desirable qualities for a colleague and employee. Not convinced? Imagine you need help with a project and there are two people you could ask for advice. One person looks solemn and has a frown on their face, the other person is happily smiling. Which person would you approach for help?

Recover from Mistakes

Research has found that smiling after making a social mistake can actually rectify the situation. An embarrassed smile is not only endearing it shows people that you’re aware you’ve made a mistake, you’ve recognised it and now you’re moving on. It’s easy to slip up sometimes in interviews so smile, shrug it off and correct yourself. It’ll go down much better than ignoring the problem and regretting it later.

Create a Pleasant Environment

Have you ever noticed that you feel happier when other people smile? That’s because the majority of us mimic a smile when we see one, and smiling sends a signal to the brain which reinforces and promotes feelings of joy and pleasure. So, if you want your interviewer to relax and enjoy your interview then remember to smile. You may well find that the atmosphere in the interview room suddenly becomes lighter.

Beware the False Smile

While a genuine smile has a host of benefits during an interview it’s vital that you don’t force it. A false smile may be more detrimental to your interview than not smiling at all. Studies have found that the human brain easily recognises a false smile as different facial muscles are used to create it compared to a natural one. As forced smiles are often used to mask negative emotion, you could achieve the opposite reaction to what you were hoping for. The interviewer may feel uncomfortable and you could come across as insincere.  Relax and keep your smile natural.

Body language, including non-verbal cues such as smiling, has been found to have a huge effect on how an employer feels about the quality of a job candidate during an interview. Don’t forget to smile next time you’re interviewing for a position and you could soon find yourself holding a job offer.