Job Interview Tips – Body Language

  • Avoid fidgeting – Fidgeting might be a harmless habit unless you\’re in a job interview. Adjusting your tie, playing with your hair, or tapping a pen can be seen by an employer as the traits of an impatient person and can also be seen as being insecure. The best way to avoid it is to be in the moment and be aware of it. Have something else to do with your hands like keeping them firmly in your lap, while occasionally gesturing.
  • Improve your posture – Good posture shows you are confident and sure of yourself. Slouching in your chair can come across as either lazy or too aggressive. It also shows a disrespect for the interviewer and will make you seem like you aren\’t interested in the job. Practice improving your posture and being very aware of it in an interview. If you\’re really interested in the job you will probably naturally straighten up and pay more attention. If you want to make an even better impression, lean in slightly and show enthusiasm for the job.
  • Don\’t invade someone\’s personal space – This one always kind of surprises me, because I would think it would come naturally. But I saw it all the time in job fairs. Sometimes job seekers would get unnaturally close to the recruiters and I could tell they weren\’t comfortable with it. A good rule of thumb is to keep the same distance you would if you extended your hand for a handshake. Wait for their signals instead of jumping in ahead of them. Let them do the leading.
  • Keep your arms uncrossed – This can be seen as a sign of hostility or negativity. I\’ve been accused of doing this myself, even though I don\’t mean it to be a sign of hostility or negativity. Again, be aware if you do it and catch yourself. Have something else to do with your hands, like resting them on a notepad in your lap. Just don\’t tap your pen on it.
  • Mirror their behavior – This is a beginning exercise that\’s used by actors. But it has to be done very subtly so the interviewer doesn\’t catch on. Especially make sure you match their tone. If they\’re serious in tone, don\’t crack jokes. Just naturally fall into their rhythm and it will seem like you are both on the same page.
  • If you really want to improve your body language, tape yourself in some mock interviews with a friend. Play it back and you might be surprised how often you make body language mistakes. Keep practicing until it becomes normal and then try it out on job interviews you don\’t really want. Then when you get to your dream job interview you should have your job search body language perfected.      

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