You can tell a lot through body language. How someone stands, how they walk, how they shake hands, can all reveal something about a person’s personality. In an interview, your body language could even play a part in if you get the job or not.
The Saleslogic team share some body language dos and don’ts for you to keep in mind for your next job interview.
Dos and Don’ts
Do make eye contact! Making eye contact shows you’re paying attention and are engaging with the interviewer. Failing to make eye contact could be a sign that you’re hiding something or uninterested.
Lock eyes with the interviewer, and bore into their soul. Maintaining too much eye contact can send the wrong message and it might make the interviewer feel uncomfortable.
If you’re answering a question and avoiding making eye contact, it could imply you’re not being truthful. If you fail to make eye contact while the interview is asking you a question, they might think you’re unengaged or bored.
Another thing to consider is blinking- too much or too little can be bad signs too!
Make sure you’re sitting comfortably. You want to sit up straight with your feet on the ground. Keep your posture open- shoulders back shows you’re open and engaged. Shoulders slumped forward can show you’re uncomfortable, unapproachable or defensive. Keep your shoulders pointed towards the interviewer. Facing your body towards the door might make it look like you want to get away from them as quick as possible.
If you’re sloughing, the interviewer might be wondering why you even turned up to the interview. You’ll come across as disinterested and possibly even rude. You don’t want to be as stiff as board, but make sure you maintain good posture.
Use your hands
Do use your hands when talking! It’s a natural thing for people to do when they’re explaining something. An interviewer wants to see someone who’s animated and excited by what they’re talking about.
Don’t overdo it. Waving your arms around wildly could show you’re overly dramatic, or perhaps exaggerating the truth. Certain hand movements like pointing or a cutting action can come across as aggressive or authoritarian. While wringing your hands can show you’re nervous or uncomfortable.
Remember your handshake says a lot about you as well- Too firm, and you’ll come across as aggressive, too soft and you might give the impression you’re a pushover.
Excessive touching your face, playing with your hair, touching your next, can all be signs of untrustworthiness and even that you’re being dishonest.
Under no circumstance would it be appropriate to touch the interviewer either. You’re not on a date! If they make a joke, do not lean over, touch their arm and say ‘you’re so funny’ in your softest of voices-DO NOT DO
Do smile! It helps break the ice and sets the interview off on a positive note.
Don’t smile the whole time, or for no reason. Keeping a grin plaster on your face will seem odd, creepy and even inappropriate.
Top Tip: Make sure you check your pearly whites before heading into the interview. Would be awfully awkward if you sat there with spinach in your teeth...
Moving and being animated is ok, it show’s your engaged and enthusiastic, but keep the movement within reason.
Don’t bounce up and down in your seat to show how excited you are. Jiggle your foot around, sway back and forth, shifting from side to side. The interview will start to wonder what’s wrong with and if you’ve had more than just coffee that day.
As if you didn’t have enough to remember or focus on during an interview! But thinking about your body language too much can make you feel self-conscious and distract you. If you’re finding yourself suddenly panicking because you’ve completely forgotten what you normally do with your hands, breathe, relax and try mirroring the interviewer’s body language. Matching someone’s body language or mirroring can help build trust and understanding, it’s like unconsciously saying, “I understand, I am like you”. Be mindful of this too though, copying exactly every movement the interviewer does will seem very odd!
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