The Importance of Eye Contact

APRIL 20, 2010 | BY MICAH

Ask any hiring manager and they will tell you that eye contact is a key component in how they judge an applicant during a job interview. Eye contact says a lot about the candidate, which is why for the next three posts we will discuss the importance of making eye contact and ways to train yourself to make better eye contact throughout the interview.

Why is Eye Contact Important?

Human beings communicate more with nonverbal cues than with words. Frowning tells others you are unhappy. Winking tells others you think they’re sexy. Shifting uncomfortably in your chair… Well… You get the idea.

Eye contact is one of the most common non-verbal cues we have. Eye contact says a lot about who you are. Making eye contact throughout the interview shows the employer that you have:

  • Confidence
  • Focus
  • Personable

Not making eye contact throughout the interview may say things about you as well. When you do not make eye contact there are a variety of negative connotations:

  • Lying/Deceit – It is a natural human response to not make eye contact when we are lying. This is because it is subconsciously believed that if the individual looks into your eyes they will catch you in your lie.
  • Bored/Distracted – When you don’t make eye contact you may appear distracted, as though your mind is elsewhere. You want to make sure the employer knows you are ready and eager throughout the interview.
  • Shy – Shyness may not make you a bad employee, but shyness can cast doubts about your ability to handle the corporate environment.

In addition, our eyes show a great deal of emotion. We can see imperceptible shifts in someone’s eyes and see how their emotion has changed, even if we do not realize it. Seeing someone’s emotion brings us closer to them. That is why making eye contact can help someone like you more as a person, even beyond the employer/applicant relationship.

Cultural Differences

Eye contact can be misleading. For example, in some cultures looking someone in the eye is considered rude. Corporations, however, value eye contact a great deal, so it is important that you learn to make eye contact for your job interview.

Eye contact is one of the most important non-verbal ways of communicating during an interview. It is vital that you learn to make eye contact to improve your chances of having a successful job interview. In the next post we will look at ways to train yourself to make eye contact.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Always make eye contact

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