Body language tips before your interview


Man sitting in chair

A hiring manager will do more than evaluate what you say. Nonverbal cues give people information about your personality and your level of comfort in a given situation. These body language tips can help make sure you give off the best impression possible when interviewing for a new job. 

Eye Contact 
Maintaining eye contact has been a well-known rule of communication since Dale Carnegie's book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People," was published in 1936. Direct eye contact can convey confidence and make a candidate more trustworthy. People who frequently look away when talking may be lying or avoiding a conversation. Individuals who avoid eye contact all together might have a lack of confidence or be uncomfortable in the situation. When greeting an interviewer, make direct eye contact and offer a firm handshake. 

The way you sit or stand can tell a recruiter a lot.

When standing up, keep your back straight, feet pointing toward the person you're communicating with and shoulders square. Imagine balancing a book on your head and keep that posture. If you enter a room with slumped shoulders, it can give the appearance that you're trying to shrink into yourself, which can be a sign of low self esteem. 

When it's time to sit down, face the recruiter with your back straight and your legs no more than shoulder width apart in front of you. Make sure to keep your chest open and facing forward; do not angle your upper body away from the person. Avoid sitting in a reclined position with your legs spread out, as this can indicate that you aren't interested in the conversation, according to ABC 13. Just like standing, avoid slouching or slumping. 

Crossed arms
University of Kent pointed out that crossing arms or legs is considered a closed posture and can mean that a person is feeling defensive. When someone leans back with their arms crossed it can signify that the person is signaling power or invulnerability. Either way, it doesn't give off a good message. Instead, sit with your arms at your sides or with your hands resting in your lap. 

When listening intently, many people will verbally confirm their understanding by rewording a thought and repeating it back to the speaker. The same concept happens with body language. When you're engaged in a conversation, you'll probably find yourself unconsciously mimicking the other person. For example, if they sit down, you'll naturally sit down. If they assume a relaxed posture, you're more likely to do the same. It's difficult to intentionally mimic someone in conversation, but if you notice it happening, don't prevent it. 

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