A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The person interviewing you has probably seen a lot, if not hundreds of applicants, before. Because of this, body language in an interview is something that your interviewer knows about like the back of his or her hand. While it is important for you to act natural and be yourself during an interview, there are some body gestures or otherwise unnoticeable habits you should avoid.
By being aware of the following gestures or body language in an interview, you will minimize your chances of actually doing the bad things and just focus on doing the good ones when you are already being interviewed.
Body Language Dos and Don’ts in an Interview
- Start with a handshake. Make it firm yet friendly. Some applicants forget how much of a courtesy this is, and a lot of interviewers appreciate those who still remember the value of a good handshake.
- Maintain eye contact. Maintaining eye contact makes your employer feel how confident you are, and by doing this you are communicating much better too.
- Establish a good distance. This means not being too far, and not being too close. “Personal space” is 20 inches away from the person. Take the seat in front of the interviewer, more preferably the one adjacent to theirs. The seat directly opposite them, if ever, may feel quite confrontational so if you have a choice, pick an adjacent seat.
- Smile. Smiling makes you have a warmer aura and it may also help your interviewer see how good-natured you are.
- Avoid applying too much cologne or perfume. While this isn’t exactly something you do while being interviewed, splashing on too much and making the interviewer feel uncomfortable in your presence because of the smell is something you would want to avoid.
- Sit up straight and lean just a little bit towards the interviewer. This will make him or her feel your attention is directed to no one else.
- Cross your arms while talking. This projects a closed personality—a defensive action which is not at all pleasing for interviewers who are trying to know you.
- Cross your legs (for both men and women). For men, it shows they are being too comfortable, and for women, it may be a sign of nervousness. Fidgeting and moving your legs around too much can also be a distraction which shows how nervous you are.
- Slouch. This makes you look uninterested and too casual. You should strive to maintain an alert and professional aura. You can rest your back on the chair, but you can also sit up straight without looking too stiff.
- Look animated. While being lively is a good thing, being too animated actually may project releasing too much tension.
- Talk too much and too fast. This is another sign of being nervous and this should be avoided.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
By being aware of these dos and don’ts in body language in interviews, you can be more mindful of how you are supposed to carry yourself when the big day comes.