Body Language to Avoid During a Job Interview

July 14, 2017 Nicole Slaughter-Graham Interviewing

You’ve carefully crafted a cover letter, ensured your résumé reflected the skills and expertise you have that directly related to the job, and now you have a job interview. You already have a professional outfit ready and you’ve researched your potential employer.

Now, its time to focus on body language. Believe it or not, how you sit, whether or not you fold your arms, and the facial expressions you make can tell an interviewer just as much as your ability to show up on time or the questions you ask. Here are some body language cues to avoid during your job interview:

Crossing Your Arms

Psychological research indicates that crossing your arms over your body in a tight manner could convey anger or detachment. If you cross your arms during an interview you could be sending the wrong message to the interviewer.

Instead, consider folding your hands in your lap or on the table (if available) in front of you. Another option is to bring a notebook and pen with you and prepare to take notes during the job interview.

Leg Tapping or Finger Fidgeting

Both of these movements signal anxiety, tension, or boredom. Tapping a finger on the table could show that you are uninterested in the conversation. Shaking your legs could show that you are anxious and uneasy, which your interviewer could take as an inability to control your feelings.

Try sitting with your legs crossed at the ankles or separated but still. If you’re a finger tapper, consider holding a pen or folding your hands in your lap.

Hunched Shoulders and Back

When you’re hunched over, you convey to those around you that you lack self-confidence. You always want to appear confident to an interviewer. The best way to do so is to sit with your neck and back straight, and shoulders back. This posture shows that you are assured of your skills and your presence.

Lack of Eye Contact

One way to show that you are engaged and interested is to make eye contact with your interviewer when you are speaking or being spoken to. Make consistent, but not overbearing, eye contact. In addition to interest, eye contact also conveys confidence and honesty.

When you make a lasting first impression and your personality shines through, you stick in the mind of the interviewer, which could help you land the job. Body language that is confident, easy, and organic can make all the difference. What body language cues not listed here do you avoid during a job interview?

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