How to Use the Right Interview Body Language

Pay attention to your interview body language - it plays a critical role in determining how you come across in the job interview! Non-verbal communication accounts for over 90% of the message you are sending the interviewer.

Steps

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    Sit properly. Sit upright but in a relaxed fashion leaning slightly forward at about a 10 to 15 degree angle towards the interviewer. This sends the message that you are an interested and involved candidate.
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    Be aware of your hands. The best thing to do with your hands is to rest them loosely clasped in your lap or on the table, if there is one. Fiddling with hair, face, or neck sends a message of anxiety and uncertainty. Body language experts agree that touching the nose, lips, or ears can signal that the candidate is lying.
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    Don't cross your arms. Folding arms across the chest suggests a defensive type of position. It sends the message that the candidate is feeling threatened and ill-at-ease and is shutting the interviewer out. It can also send the message that the candidate does not agree with or buy into what the interviewer is saying.
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    Place both feet on the floor. Crossing feet at the ankles or placing them both flat on the floor sends a message of confidence and professionalism. Jiggling or moving the legs creates an irritating distraction and indicates nervousness. Resting an ankle on the opposite knee looks arrogant and too casual, crossing the legs high up appears defensive.
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    Maintain direct eye contact. Keeping direct eye contact with the interviewer indicates active listening and interest. Eyes that dart around suggest dishonesty. Looking down gives the impression of low self-esteem.
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    Be conscious of mouth movements. Pursing the lips or twisting them sideways shows disapproval of what is being heard. Biting your lips suggests nervousness. Try to relax your mouth.
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    Position your head. Keeping your head straight looks self-assured and authoritative, it sends the message that you should be taken seriously. For a more friendly and relaxed look, tilt your head slightly to one side. Nod your head every now and then to show you are listening closely.

Tips

  • Don't overdo direct eye contact; too much contact without breaks can make the other person extremely uncomfortable and can be suggestive that you are domineering.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Interview Skills