How to Rock Your Next Job Interview: Body Language and Posture

find job - get your foot in the door
When you're headed in for a job interview, you want to be sure that you're getting everything right. Your qualifications can be great, your answers spot-on, but sometimes, little details can make the difference between securing your job and watching it go to another candidate whose qualifications and experience were very similar to yours. Follow these body language tips for interviews to help boost your chances of receiving a job offer.

1. Radiate confidence.

There are several small things that can help make you look confident and assured--and ensure that your interviewer sees you as an excellent candidate who is prepared to take on the position.

interview between 2 figures

Here are a few tips:

  • Make face contact, not necessarily eye contact. Look directly at the interviewer to convey a sense of confidence and engagement, but don't feel like you have to stare into their eyes the entire time, either.
  • Sit up straight. 
  • Sit all the way back in your chair, rather than perching nervously on the edge. 
  • Feel free to talk with your hands. Hiding them can indicate that you're nervous or uncomfortable, while gesturing freely as you're answering questions reflects the confidence you're looking to convey.

2. Develop a great handshake. 

great handshake

Yes, the handshake matters. In many cases, it's part of the critical first impression your future employer is forming of you. You don't need to try to break your employer's hand, but do your best to offer a firm handshake. Don't let your wrist go limp or offer only the tips of your fingers like you're expecting your interviewer to bring you in for a kiss. 

3. Show engagement. 

Your posture and movement throughout the interview can shape the way your interviewer thinks about your engagement--and therefore your interest in the open position.

Make sure you're showing engagement through a few critical nuances: 

interview - radiate confidence and engagement
  • Lean forward occasionally as you make points.
  • Mirror the way your interviewer moves. This will subconsciously increase their opinion of you and increase the appearance that you're genuinely interested in and involved with the conversation.
  • Avoid slumping back into your chair. No matter how comfortable you feel during the interview, slumping can indicate disinterest to your interviewer. 

4. Avoid appearing defensive.

defensive lady with arms crossed

It's natural to cross your arms over your chest if you feel that you're being cross-examined or you're talking about a sensitive or heated subject--for example, why you chose to leave your last company. Instead, try to hold your hands out to your sides or use a gesture that will keep your palms up. This will help create the illusion of openness and honesty to your interviewer. 

5. Know your fidget triggers.

man waiting to interview

Do you bounce one leg nervously when you're under pressure? Is it natural for you to reach up and play with your hair or chew on a fingernail, especially if you're nervous? Know what fidget movements you use on a regular basis and try to avoid them during the interview. If you catch yourself fidgeting, make an effort to still yourself. Fidgeting decreases the aura of confidence you're trying to project and can create an unfavorable impression with the interviewer.

6. Remember that the interview starts before your interviewer arrives.

If you're left waiting before the interview, remember that your future employers are still watching. Everyone from the receptionist who let you in to the interviewer himself could be observing your behavior.

Below are some tips for the pre-interview wait:

figure with briefcase waiting to interview
  • Stay off of your phone. Don't distract yourself with internet browsing or checking your email. This time belongs to your future employers!
  • Sit up straight, without hunching your shoulders or raising your knees to your chest. Try to stay calm, relaxed, and ready.
  • Interact politely with everyone you encounter while you're waiting, especially those who initiate conversation with you.
  • Keep papers and other information in your briefcase or folder. Immediately before the interview is not the time to look them over! If you must double-check information, do it while you're in the car.

Acing an interview requires great body language along with good answers to your interviewer's questions. By carefully reviewing these body language tips, you can improve your odds of a successful interview at a company you've always wanted to work for.

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If you need help getting your foot in the door for a job interview, contact us today to learn how we can connect you with employers who are looking for employees just like you.