Your Job Interview: Body Language Dos & Don’ts

Body Language In the Job Interview

Since body language actually affects how one feels about oneself, it doesn’t hurt to set the tone of communication before you’ve even left your car. Sit up straight, smile, and keep your chin up, shoulders squared. If you portray confidence outwardly, you’ll actually begin to feel confident. As you approach the interview location, meet the eyes of others you pass and offer a friendly smile, nodding when appropriate. The more you look like a confident person who has it all together, the more you’ll begin to feel like one during the job interview.

Body Language Do’s

The ideas conveyed by your answers in a job interview are the same ideas you want to convey with your body language. Employers usually seek employees who will listen, and combine congeniality with a practical dose of assertiveness. Often, an aggressive demeanor is less desirable than a calm, and gently commanding presence. Additionally, employers want to see trustworthiness in an employee. While it’s easy to state you possess these qualities during a job interview, it takes a bit more to convince a prospective employer that you really have them.

Once your interview begins, meet the eyes of your interviewer, and smile. Relax, and while listening, lean forward just slightly to convey interest. Mirror the body language of the interviewer, but be subtle about it. Mirroring is a way to build rapport and a subconscious link between yourself and the interviewer, suggesting you’re in sync.

Body Language Don’ts

While you want to appear relaxed, it is important not to appear too relaxed or too dominant. Stretching your legs out in a job interview, raising your arms behind the back of your head with your elbows out, and leaning back are all messages that you are overconfident. In a job interview, overconfident body language may convey the sense that you feel you have nothing to learn, or consider yourself above the job or the interviewer. While confidence is a boon in an employee, arrogance is generally not.

Finally, while in the job interview, don’t wildly gesticulate. Gestures are a good way to add emphasis to your statements, and help you relax, but too much gesturing is distracting and can even be seen as aggressive.