Body Language in an Interview - Do’s and Don’ts
In an interview body language says a lot about a person. You can spend lots of time preparing answers to questions you think might get asked, but at the end of the day, if your body language does not come across well to the interviewer, you will be left applying for more jobs. First impressions are really important to the success of an interview. So here are a few do’s and don’ts of how to send the right message with your body language.
How to Do Well At an Interview
Do have a confident walk. As soon as you enter the building, your body language is being assessed. Walk tall with a straight back. It will make you look more confident when you go to enter the actual interview.
Do have a firm handshake. Handshakes say a lot about a person. If your handshake comes across as too weak, then this is the first impression the interviewer will get of you as a person. A strong handshake comes across as confident, which is what employers want.
Do keep eye contact. It is important to maintain a good level of eye contact with the interviewer, otherwise it may come across that you are intimidated. If you don’t feel confident doing this, a trick is to lower you eyes towards their nose.
Do be mindful of others personal space. Make sure you are aware of the interviewer’s personal space. Communicating quite closely to them may start to make them feel uncomfortable, so make sure you maintain a good distance.
Do sit with a straight back. Don’t slouch in your chair as this comes across as though you don’t want to be in the interview. Make yourself look confident and interested in what the interviewer has to say.
Do smile. Even if you are nervous, a smile will make you come across as relaxed and comfortable in the environment you are in. It will also make you come across as a more approachable and friendly person.
Do be aware of your hands. It is ok to come across as slightly animated by using your hands while talking, but try not to go over the top about it. Always make sure that you keep your hands away from your face while you are talking.
Do be aware of your body language. Try not to have your arms crossed or fiddle with your hair. These kinds of things can make it look like you are bored and can also be slightly irritating to the interviewer.
What Not To Do At an Interview
Don’t come across as too confident. If this is the case, you may be seen as arrogant by the interviewer. Arrogance and confidence are two separate things. Don’t get them confused.
Don’t fidget while in the interview. This can make you look really nervous and can also be seen as slightly annoying.
Don’t touch your ears or nose. By touching your ears or nose, it is often seen as an indication that you are lying so avoid doing it. It also isn’t very pleasant for the interviewer to see.
Don’t sit with your arms crossed. This makes you come across as not interested and unapproachable. You want to try and be as friendly as possible, so try resting your hands on your knees.
Don’t stare at the interviewer. Whilst it is good to hold eye contact, try not to over do it. If you stare, it will come across as very intense and make the interviewer feel uncomfortable. If you are staring at them blankly it may look like you are trying to distance yourself, therefore you will look uninterested.
Don’t lean on the interviewer’s desk. This is intrusive and restricts their personal space making it uncomfortable for them.
Don’t chew gum. It is considered rude to come into an interview chewing gum. It may look like you are not serious about the interview and it will give the interviewer a very bad first impression.
Don’t lean towards the door. This implies that you cannot wait to dash out of the door. The interviewer will think you are not interested, as it will seem like you just want to leave the room.