Home > Careers, Employment > Body Language Dos and Don’ts at Interview

Body Language Dos and Don’ts at Interview

So you’ve landed a face-to-face interview with a great company and you’ve prepared for it like crazy.

You have well thought out answers, amazing examples and have conducted some fantastic employer research.  So you feel you have ticked all the boxes, but did you know that your body language can have a big impact on how the employer perceives you and how you perform at an interview?

If you look for nonverbal communication on the net there are varying statistics that say how much of a part body language plays when communicating with others. That being said, we can be sure that getting into good body language habits at interview can only improve your chances.

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression!

Dos

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1. A good handshake can tell the interviewer that you are enthusiastic. Too weak, too strong or too quick to pull away are all things you need to consider as they can send out the wrong message. Click this  ‘Handy’ link to get some tips.

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2. Eye contact – keeping a nice level of eye contact for a few seconds at a time with the person you are speaking with shows that that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. If there is more than one person interviewing you, try to keep eye contact with everyone in the room when answering a question, you don’t want to make others feel excluded.

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3. Open hand gestures, believe it or not, can help the listener to understand your answers and help you look more professional. To get it right, you need to be aware of what your hands are doing. Over exaggerated gestures can be distracting, whilst hidden hands can say my answers are untrustworthy.

Don’ts

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1. You may cross your arms to keep warm, or it could just be a natural position you take on a day-to-day basis, but it’s a massive no no at an interview. This can send out a closed, negative and defensive signal, which can make you look uncomfortable and unenthusiastic.

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2. Using a power pose for 2 minutes prior to your interview has been documented to make you feel more confident and powerful in an interview situation. However at an interview it’s not so great! You can risk coming across as arrogant and overconfident, which can send out the wrong message to the interviewer. Watch the TED talk video here to find out more.

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3. Fidgeting is a real sign of nervousness at an interview. Chewing a pen, tapping your fingers or playing with your hair are all types of fidgeting which could distract the person you’re speaking to. Try to keep your hands on the desk in front of you if you’re not sure what to do with them.

Keep practicing your body language skills and you will feel more comfortable at interviews.

The Careers, Employment and Enterprise Service can help you with your interview techniques, to find out more information please search ‘interviews’ in our resource tab on CareerHub.

By Chloe Collins, Careers Officer/Employer Liaison (SME) at the University of Hertfordshire.

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