Use Body Language Effectively in a Job Interview

Using Body language in a job interview

Use Body Language Effectively in a Job Interview

In a daily life we express our thoughts and ideas not only with words, but also with non-verbal communication. Body language is an important part of communication which helps to convey feelings and to show inner state. Especially, body language is helpful to understand person that you don’t know, for example, during a job interview.

Interviewers try to understand the candidates by analyzing how they behave, express themselves and how they response to different questions. It helps them in making decision about to what extend the candidate is suitable for a particular job position. However, there is a probability that body language can be misinterpreted. Because usually in a stressful situation people behave not the same way as they do all the time. So, let’s see how to use body language effectively in order to leave a good impression in a job interview.

What is body language?

Sometimes even without a single word we can send out a message. Our body posture, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact send silent signals that reveal our feelings. All of them together form a body language. Body posture demonstrates inner state and feelings, while arm gestures help to emphasize some points or make the speech clear. Facial expressions show your emotions that can help make your speech interesting.

If you are looking for a job or preparing for an interview, then learn how to control your body language to present yourself in the best way.

Body posture

Sit up straight during the interview. It shows that you are prepared, credible and self-confident. Slouching is a bad sign. With this you show low self-esteem and lack of confidence. Also, if you lounge back in the chair, the interviewer understands it as a sign of disrespect or not taking the interview seriously. Instead, slightly lean forward in your chair to demonstrate that you are interested in conversation and you are listening carefully. But remember: never invade the personal space of interviewer by coming too close. Experts claim that personal space is about 20 inches and intruding it shows that you have other motives aside from interview.

Arm gestures

We use our hands and arms during conversation for emphasis or to make the picture clear. Among all hand movements, of course, the most important is handshake. You should always start the interview with handshake. By this you create more open and friendly atmosphere. A firm handshake can imply that you are outgoing and self-reliant person. But, make sure that you don’t shake very intensely or weak. In addition, how long you hold a hand matters. Don’t drop it out immediately; it’s a sign of shyness.

Always try to find the most comfortable position for your hands. Keep your hands above the table. Avoid keeping them in your pocket or holding tightly your bag or folder. Moreover, refrain from using wild gestures and a lot of finger pointing. It can be considered as an authoritative attitude. Recruiters will hardly agree to invite that kind of person to the team. Instead of this, hold your fingertips together in a shape of church steeple. By this you will demonstrate confidence.

Candidate that touching face or hair and rubbing neck may seem uncomfortable and frustrated. Crossing arms in front of chest shows defensive position. Sometimes you can do this unconsciously, but by this you may build an invisible barrier around you and distance yourself from others.

Position of legs

“What’s with legs, anyway they will not be visible” you may think. Yes, you right, in case if you sit close to the table. However, you cannot be sure about where and in what kind of situation interview is going to be. Similar to the situation with arms, crossed legs also make you appear defensive and guarded. Besides, putting one leg on the knee of the other leg shows impiety towards interviewers.

Eye contact

When we talk to somebody, we always try to look at eyes of that person. Eyes are the mirror of our soul. Maintaining good eye contact during job interview is a good way to demonstrate your trustworthiness. Starting from the handshake keep a good eye contact, but not overdo. Staring all the time make the interviewer feel anxious and frustration. It looks like an attempt to make pressure or intimidation; never do that. Avoiding from the direct eye contact may indicate either the candidate is shy or lying a lot. So, know the limit in everything. When blink eyes a lot, recruiter may understand it as anxiety and confusion. But, it is a tricky situation. The candidate might have eye problem or contact lenses get dry. In this case it’s better to notify the interviewer in order to prevent misunderstanding.


Experts say that it is inevitable to nod from time to time during the conversation. By nodding you show that you are interested in conversation. In a job in interview you are all the time under the observation of interviewers: how you behave and response. Nodding expresses that you understand what someone is saying and you agree with it.

Facial expressions

Mimics and facial expressions help to display emotions and immediate reaction to some kind of situation. Therefore, don’t make ‘poker face’ in front of your recruiter.
Even if you are a serious person, with this face recruiters will lose interest in you very soon.

Probably, the most delightful facial expression is smiling. When you smile at someone, that person unwittingly starts to smile in response. Smile when you enter the room, while shaking hands, when you answer and when you leave. It means that you are pleasant to be there and to see those people.

Tense lips: this is a habit liars use more. Pressing lips tight may seem to others as you are untrustworthy person. With crabby face also you will likely never get a job of your dream.

Avoid being too emotional, you are not an actor who come for casting, you are a candidate who want to leave a good impression on recruiters and get a job that you want.

Come 100% prepared

Interview is the time you to shine. So, don’t lose this opportunity. Look for information about the company, prepare all necessary documents, and get dressed smartly. And of course, effectively use body language and be confident, then everything will be OK!

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