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Interview Body Language

It’s not just what you say in an interview that counts; how you present yourself is also very important. You need to have the correct body language to make sure you come across in the most confident way possible. Having said this, body language is notoriously open to misinterpretation, so don’t follow these suggestions religiously.

Sit up straight…

First of all, pay attention to your posture. Crossing both your arms and legs suggests defensiveness. Body language experts call this a ‘closed’ posture, so make sure you open up your posture by uncrossing those arms. Lift that chin up, make sure your head is straight and in line with your spine. Put those shoulders back and do as your granny would tell you: sit up straight. Don’t lean too far back in your chair; lean slightly forward instead. You want to look relaxed, but alert at the same time.

Face time…

Make eye contact with your interviewer. A lack of eye contact not only makes you look insecure, but it also makes the interviewer feel uncomfortable. Don’t stare them down like a Jedi Knight, but make sure you look them in the eye when you’re speaking to them. Staring down at the ground or repeatedly glancing over their shoulder is a big no-no.

Most important of all: flash those pearly whites. Believe us, smiling can make all the difference. Don’t sit there grinning like a crazed loon though! Nobody wants to employ the Cheshire Cat.

Keep those limbs under control…

Don’t flail your arms about; too many exaggerated hand gestures can be off-putting. Equally, try not to fidget or jog your leg. Too much movement in your limbs will make you look uncomfortable and nervous.

Don’t fidget when the interviewer is speaking. Even if he/she launches into a huge long spiel about the company, always look like you are listening attentively, and punctuate their speech with slight nods of your head.

Watch their body language…

Friends often mirror each other’s body language. It’s a sign that you like the other person or that you have similar views. You could very subtly mirror your interviewer’s body language; for example, you could lean forward when they lean forward.

Otherwise you could use their body language for clues as to how the interview is going. Some suggest that certain clues, such as the interviewer losing eye contact or resting their head on their hand, might indicate boredom. Likewise, if they cross their arms or lean away, it could suggest they feel uncomfortable. Drumming fingers and ‘face rubbing’ might indicate irritation. These are by no means gospel, but could give you an indication that perhaps you aren’t answering the question correctly or your answers are too lengthy.

Speak up…

Speak slowly and clearly. Gabbling in a high pitched voice will only betray your nerves. Don’t speak in a monotone, try and vary the tone of your voice. At the beginning and end of your interview make sure you give the interviewer a good firm handshake, although not of bone crushing proportions. No one likes a weak handshake.