What Does Various Body Language Say About You In An Interview?

What Does Various Body Language Say About You In An Interview?

Did you know that body language accounts for over 50% of communication? That means the words you use are less impactful than how you’re presenting yourself physically.

Meet Tedd, an accounting professional who was elated but anxious when he was invited for an interview. and, a As he sat in the waiting room before his big job interview, he couldn’t help but feel anxious. His mind raced with questions. Was he sitting up straight enough? Did he make eye contact with the receptionist when he checked in? How closely were they observing his body language without him knowing?

He knew body language would play a big role in whether or not he got this job. One slip up could cost him the opportunity. But what exactly was his non-verbal communication conveying without him meaning to?

As a professional who has worked with recruiters, I’m always observing subtle clues like posture, facial expressions, hand gestures, eye contact, and more to get a sense of confidence, engagement, and likability.

Here are six key body language cues they’ll be picking up on and what each one reveals about you as a candidate.

1. Posture

Sitting or standing with poor posture, especially slouching, conveys laziness and lack of confidence. Keep your back straight, shoulders rolled back, and sit on the edge of your seat.

This open, erect posture shows engagement, alertness, and self-assurance. Slouching shrinks your presence while proper posture commands attention in a positive way.

2. Eye Contact

Maintaining appropriate eye contact, looking at the interviewer when you speak, and making eye contact periodically when they speak demonstrate confidence, focus, and attentiveness.

Avoiding eye contact can give the impression you’re distracted, nervous, shy, or dishonest. The general rule is to hold contact for 3-4 seconds then break contact naturally as you listen.

3. Facial Expressions

Smiling and having a generally pleasant, optimistic facial expression is warm and likable. Frowning, furrowing your brow excessively, or giving pained expressions can convey negativity.

Keep facial expressions natural, relaxed, and matching the tone of the discussion. Forced smiling may appear disingenuous. Genuine facial expressions match your authentic self.

4. Hand Gestures

Using hand gestures purposefully and sparingly adds emphasis and engages the interviewer visually. Fidgety, repetitive hand motions like tapping, twirling a pen, or rubbing hands together indicate anxiety.

Keep hands relaxed, either folding on the table or making gestures to punctuate important points. Avoid putting hands in pockets or crossed arms which appear closed off.

5. Leaning In/Out

Leaning slightly forward into the conversation and toward the interviewer shows engagement, focus, and comfort with proximity.

Leaning too far back removes you from the interaction and far forward can appear aggressive or make the other person uncomfortable. Find a balanced position aligned with the back of the chair.

6. Touching face/hair

Excessive touching or playing with your face, hair, or clothes with your hands is a negative barrier that conveys nervous energy.

Rest your hands relaxed on your lap or table when listening. Brief, purposeful touching like a stroke of hair out of your face is fine. Avoid compulsive stimulation that draws focus away from your message.

In summary, developing self-awareness of body language improves your interview performance and lets your authentic qualities shine through. Practice new poses and gestures to strengthen confident habits over nervous tells.

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