Why is eye contact so important during interviews?
For some people, making and maintaining eye contact can be daunting, but it may be the final decider in whether you make the cut for the job!
It may sometimes feel uncomfortable, but that's why we're here to let you know how vital it really is...
Perhaps most importantly, it conveys confidence. If you're not making eye contact, where are you looking? At your shoes? At the floor? This is only going convey nervousness. In order to come across confident, you need to look your interviewer in the eye to let them know you're prepared to answer their questions. According to body language expert, Susan Constantine, "If your eyes in an interview are fidgety or continuously shifting back and forth, this can mean you are trying to conjure up an answer that you are not sure is the right one."
The right amount of eye contact suggests that you're genuinely interested in listening to what your interviewer is saying or asking. "When a candidate is authentically interested in the conversation, there is a chemical released and the eyes dilate," said Constantine. Being interested means you're engaged, and who wants to employ somebody that seems disinterested?
So what is the right amount of eye contact? Research conducted by Michigan State University says to use the 50/70 rule. "To maintain appropriate eye contact without staring, you should maintain eye contact for 50 percent of the time while speaking and 70% of the time while listening. This helps to display interest and confidence.
Maintain it for 4-5 seconds. Once you establish eye contact, maintain or hold it for 4-5 seconds. After this time passes, you can slowly glance to the side and then go back to establishing eye contact.
Establish eye contact. Before you begin talking, establish eye contact. Don’t look down or look at something before you begin speaking. Establish eye contact right away and then begin talking."
It may seem minor, but give it a go and see how successful it could make you!