Interviews can be stressful events, to say the least. There are many tricks of the trade out there from those that make a profession in teaching you how to interview most effectively. What many will gloss over, though, is the science behind the importance of your smile and how it affects your potential employer’s view of you.
The Science Of A Smile
A smile is a form of disarming a difficult situation. If you, for example, are confronted by a stranger and keep a somber or even angry posture, you are unlikely to bridge the gap and get a “Hello”, and even more likely to make a situation less comfortable. Smiles give off an air of authenticity about who you are. Babies start smiling as early as five weeks old and they aren’t even sure why yet. This is not only a survival technique passed down from generations ago, but it is also a way to show that we are genuine and human.
Smiling during an interview can make a stressful situation for you and possibly the interviewer much more comfortable. Keep in mind, though, flashing your pearly whites isn’t enough. Smiling with just your mouth is key, but your eyes will help convey your feeling. A nervous smile and a happy smile look completely different when you are looked in the eyes during an interview, you are likely going to make a great deal of eye contact. Still, your smile should be clean, bright, and natural.
Get the Interviewer to Smile
Forcing a smile is going to do nothing for you, but a genuine, friendly smile will do wonders. You will find that you are considered ahead of those that are more qualified but less genuine in their emotions if you can be honest with your smile. You can also get a good read on how well the interview is going based on how genuine the interviewer’s smile comes across. If it seems static, liven things up and get them smiling, or better yet, laughing.
Once you get someone to smile or laugh with you, you create a connection at a fundamental level. You are likable and pleasant and most importantly you seem happy. A happy individual is a good choice for an interviewer to consider highly on their list of potential follow-ups or hires. In short, your smile will start a domino effect that should lead to smiles around the room. If you are insincere it will be painfully obvious and you will likely get the same treatment, but if you can pull off a genuine smile that is full of happiness or joy then you will see the same come from the interviewer and leave them with positive memories of the interview.