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Body Language During Interviews: Dos and Don’ts

Did you know that spoken words comprise only one third of what you communicate to the world.

Your body language is one of the most important non verbal signal that you send out when you meet someone, and can even overshadow what you say.

In interviews, body language is extremely important as they form the bulk of your communication to the interviewer. Your manner and your dress sense certainly say a lot about you, but your body language can still let you down! Keeping a proper body language will help you make the right impression, without saying a word.

Here are a few things you need to know before you walk into that interview room to create the right firat impression with your body language.

 

Do’s:

  1. Walk In Boldly – It’s imperative you look as professional as possible from the outset. You’ll begin to be judged on your behavior as soon as you walk in through those doors. There are cases where recruiters observe candidates arriving to their office to see changes in their body language. Always exude confidence.

  2. Greet Your Interviewer – Give a firm handshake but do not come off too weak as you’ll seem a tad submissive. If you come off too strong, you could be seen as trying too hard. The interviewer knows you want the job, so don’t startle them with an overconfident display. Avoid high-fives, nose-flicks or air-kisses. Keep it simple and mirror their handshake grip to prevent dominant vibes.

  3. Sit Upright – The way you sit, when the interviewer shows you to your chair, conveys a lot of information. Sit up straight, but avoid being too stiff. Keep the small of your back against the chair. Keep your legs straight and as still as possible. It’s okay to lean forward slightly once in awhile, as it shows the interviewer that you’re listening, but don’t overdo it. Look relaxed. It helps your interviewer feel at ease in your company. Nevertheless, no matter how informal the interview gets, avoid slouching.

  4. Keep Eye Contact – Maintaining an eye contact shows you’re not intimidated, and that you’re paying attention. If you feel uncomfortable, try looking at their nose or look away for a few seconds.

  5. Smile – It’s okay to be nervous, but a smile can go a long way. It makes you look more comfortable, relaxed and likeable.

  6. Concentrate – It’s important to focus during your interview. Stop constant eye movement or repeated looks to the floor or ceiling. Give your interviewer your full attention. Look and listen!
 

Dont’s:

  1. Avoid Hand Gestures – It’s okay to be charged and physically expressive as you speak but don’t go overboard gesticulating to make a point. You’re not breaking moves at a discotheque.

  2. Avoid Touching Your Face – Keep your hands away from your face. Touching your nose or ear is sometimes said to indicate lying. So avoid nose touching, cheek brushing, sideburns caressing or chin scratching by keeping your hands interlocked or relaxed in your lap.

  3. Don’t Fidget – During the interview, try to avoid moving around too much. Nervously moving your feet or always changing position will make you look uncomfortable and restless which can be a distraction to the interviewer. While it’s important not to look too stiff, fidgeting can be just as bad.

  4. Don’t Form Body Barriers – Folding your arms across your chest or turning away your shoulders conveys a negative and nervous attitude. Define an open and honest attitude with your upper torso. Keep your back straight and tilt slightly forward to exhibit interest.

  5. Avoid Getting Distracted – Obsessive touching, tugging at your tie or grooming of your garments, communicates an element of distrust or boredom. Even if you’re sure there’s a speck on your clothes, leave it alone. No-one else will notice but you.

Improving your body language requires constant practice under pressure, so try to train yourself as much as possible. Doing so will help you iron out awkward habits and prevent clumsy moments.