Body Language and the Job Inteview

You will not get a second chance to make a good first impression in a job interview so you will want to be conscious of your body language.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

When you walk into a room, look confident and as if you belong there.  At the end of the interview, avoid exiting the room with your back to the interviewer.

Standing tall with your head high or sitting without slouching and leaning forward slightly will send a signal of confidence and interest.

Eye contact should be steady without staring.  Avoid looking away when asked a question as it may be seen as a sign of untruthfulness.  Direct eye contact when answering a question is usually a sign of honesty.

Gestures are acceptable as long as they are kept to a minimum and are not too outrageous.  No one will ever forget Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch.  Although he felt it was a harmless gesture it was clear that it went beyond the comfort level of most people.  There is nothing wrong with enthusiasm, but don’t overdo it!  Keep your feet on the floor, your hands below your shoulders and offer an occasional nod indicating interest and understanding.  Remember by keeping your body still it is an indication that you are listening intently.

Avoid any physical signs of nervousness such as nail biting or jiggling a foot or leg.  Do not chew gum or wear sunglasses on your head or eyes.

Be aware of an individuals comfort zone when it comes to their personal space.  It varies per individual but when their eyes dart away, it’s a clear indication to back off, you’re too close.

If you are able to keep your body language in check, take a closer look at your interviewer.  You may learn more from their body language than you will from their verbal communication.

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