Whether the role that you have your eye on is in R&D, quality assurance or such a specific field as pharmacology or molecular biology, there's one challenge that you will almost certainly have to face: the job interview.
You might think that a great interview performance in front of a recruitment team is all about what you say, but actually, what you do is hardly any less important. You also need the right job interview body language, and it can be just as important as what you say.
It's something that a prospective employer will begin to judge as soon as you step into the interview room - that's right, before you even say anything. With that in mind, we want to share our interview body language tips with you:
Getting your eye contact right
Eye contact with the interviewer is one of the most important things to incorporate into your body language, as it signals that you are interested in and paying attention to them.
However, there's an art to getting eye contact right. Relentlessly fixing your eyes to those of the interviewer right through your exchange may be unsettling or even make you look blank and uninterested.
Instead, go for what body language expert Dr Lillian Glass calls "direct face contact", whereby every two seconds, you look at a different part of the interviewer's face, rotating from their eyes, to their nose, to their lips.
Using your head is important, too
Combining the aforementioned eye and face contact with the occasional nodding of your head further indicates your attentiveness and understanding of what the interviewer is saying.
Such nods can be further complemented with smiling at appropriate moments and laughing when the interviewer does, all of which helps to show your personality.
Try to resist interrupting the interviewer, and when it's your turn to speak, maintain an even and polite tone of voice that is neither overly soft and timid, nor too loud and domineering.
Strike the right pose
Where many candidates for jobs fail in achieving the right body language is not getting their overall body posture right.
There's a big difference, for instance, between the leaning forward that we all naturally do when we are engaged in a conversation, and the slouching that simply makes you look uninterested. To achieve the former, lean only slightly forward, with your chest high but your shoulders back and down.
Again, much of achieving the right overall body language is all about balance. It's a good idea, for instance, to gently mimic the positive body language of your interviewer, such as a subtle nod or posture change.
Matching their handshake works well too, but an overly firm handshake can suggest arrogance, while a weak one may indicate someone who is precisely that.
Body language is an in-depth field that we cannot possibly cover comprehensively here, but we hope you've found our job interview body language tips useful. These basic rules should help you to improve your interview technique when competing for the most sought-after jobs.