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The Best Body Language for a Job Interview

Updated on October 27, 2014
Say hire me with the right body language during a job interview.
Say hire me with the right body language during a job interview. | Source
Keep your arms and hands in an expressive communication that says you are approachable and not defensive.
Keep your arms and hands in an expressive communication that says you are approachable and not defensive. | Source

Your body language says more to another person than words communicated verbally

The body language displayed at a job interview is extremely important. These situations are the first impressions a prospective employee gives to the company or business they hope to work for. Giving the correct first impression with how you dress and look says a lot about you. Your body language says even more.

Body language communicates over fifty percent of what another person hears or perceives no matter what words are spoken. The right body language for your next interview could make or break the deal for a new job more than you know.

Along with preparing what you say and how you dress for your next experience, follow these tips and techniques to show the right body language to win the new boss over;

a) Greet modestly and with a good handshake

Do not overdo it with saying hello. This means keep it low key, be confident with a nice smile and introduce yourself. Use your first and last name. You are not meeting your buddies for a beer after work so keep it professional. A greeting of "hey what's up?" or "how's it hanging" is never acceptable. No high fives. There is no place for a high five at a job interview.

Keep eye contact without staring enough to make the other person uncomfortable. Eye contact reveals honesty and integrity. If you have more than one person you are interviewing with briefly make eye contact with everyone.

Do not walk in readjusting ties or fiddling with a purse strap. These cues indicate an employee which cannot stay focused. Some folks even interpret it as a person not ready.

Offer a firm handshake with your greeting. Mirror their handshake grip. Make certain palms and hands are not sweaty or dirty. Nails should be clean and clipped. Keep your arms loose and at your sides to appear relaxed whether your heart is beating out of your chest or not.

b) Do not break the ice with a joke

This is the first time you are meeting someone. Although a number of advice books admit this is terrific for making everyone feel relaxed, this is not the case. Leaving jokes at home demonstrate you take the position seriously. Opening conversations with a joke are best for roasting celebrities.

Remember, you do not know anything about this person. The unknown is capable of creating a joke going the wrong way, make the other person uncomfortable, take offense or give the wrong impression without meaning to. Stay away from being a jester.

c) The interviewer shows you to your chair

Take the seat offered regardless of what other ones are available. This will avoid the domination establishing personality clash. Take a moment to get comfortable.

A good comfort level as soon as possible keeps you from fidgeting while conversing. It signifies you make decisions quickly and with confidence.

Fidgety movement while talking gives the impression you are lying or do not feel at ease with the subject being discussed when in fact you are simply uncomfortable in your chair. Do not get too relaxed and sit up straight and still. Slouching looks like you are unprepared or avoiding the question or issue.

Rubbing your head or even the back of your neck makes you appear disinterested. Never invade another person's personal space. A distance of at least 20 inches works best. When personal space is invaded the interviewer is uncomfortable and unfocused on you and what is being discussed.

Stay away from leaning toward the door. It feels like you are ready to bolt out of it at any time.

d) Look relaxed

Looking relaxed lets the interviewer feel relaxed in your company. Look the part no matter how nervous you feel. Avoid slouching no matter what is being talked about. Never put your feet on the table or lay back in the chair with your hands behind your head. Feelings of not taking the position seriously are relayed and it is never good manners no matter where you are visiting.

Do not transfer nervousness you feel inside to body language outside. Like crossing and uncrossing legs. Crossing and uncrossing them is not only distracting, but it lets the interviewer know how nervous you really are. Hiring managers understand some form of anxiety exists. Yet, they could misinterpret the jumpiness as a sign you are hiding something from them during the meeting when in fact you are not.

e) Stay away from avoidance body language

Do not turn your shoulders away or cross your arms. All of these show anxiety or even an aggressive attitude without intention. Crossed arms make others feel like you are unapproachable.

Keep the back straight and lean slightly forward. These actions display interest in the topic or subject matter discussed. Crossing your legs is okay. It does not appear as defensive as crossing your arms. Keep your legs and feet pointed toward the interviewer to appear interested.

Standing during a phone interview will increase your alertness and make you more engaged in the conversation. Even if you are not seen, your body language is still making a difference.

f) Keep your hands away from your face

Your hands should never be near your face when speaking. Hands to the mouth will turn into nose touching and even cheek brushing without realizing it. Stroking the nose or chin scratching and other interactions between your hands and your face makes you look suspicious. In addition, it is not very sanitary. Keep them away from your face during the entire time.

Children cover their mouths when they are telling lies. This is a subconscious behavior that fades as we grow older. Hands to the face should never be done. Keep them interlocked or relaxed in your lap.

g) Don’t pick at your clothes

Picking at your tie or clothes conveys elements of boredom or distrust. Even if you have something on your clothes, leave it alone. Nine times out of ten no one else will notice it except you. Besides before the meeting most people have checked and rechecked their attire several times and taken care of anything which stands out.

h) Eye contact

Although eye contact is discussed during the greeting, this is an important part of body language communication during the interview. There are several key elements to note.

Never avoid making eye contact but, stay away the zombie stare. Keep your vision within a triangle space of a person's face. Between the eyes and nose creates the triangle. Try to stay inside of that space. Countless people with difficulty making direct eye contact will use this triangle instead.

i) Using hands to expressively speak

It is okay to use your hands to be physically expressive as you speak. For some individuals this is simply how they communicate effectively what they are saying. In fact, it shows a confidence in what you have to say. Use them to roll out answers or give shape to an idea. Do not exaggerate gestures and never finger point. Motions should be made with hands palm up. This signifies an offering gesture and says you are open to discussion.

J) Smells

Everyone has a preference for what they believe smells good or bad. This means avoiding wearing any type of fragrance to an interview. What one person enjoys another will dislike. Being ideal for the position and turned away because of your aftershave is terrible.

k) Making an exit

Always keep it professional. No matter what employer you are interviewing with a job is a profession or career. Say goodbye gracefully and keep it as lowkey as the greeting. Do not ruin all of your hard work and wonderful resume with a rotten exit. An awful exit will be what the hiring manager will remember most instead of how brilliant your answers were.

In conclusion

Some of the matters to be avoided discussed here seem asinine and should be well known. Amazingly, there are persons who interview that display all of the no-no body language and blow the job time after time.

Practice in the mirror to avoid any clumsy moments and iron out your body language skills. The more you run-through these the better you will get at the best body language for a job interview.

Have a better understanding of your own body language

© 2013 smcopywrite


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