Interview Body Language – Secrets to Conquering the Nonverbal Part of the Job Interview

September 29th, 2009 by lewis

My colleague sent an excellent article on six body language tips for the job interview. Here are my favorite interview body language tips:

  • Maintain good posture. Here’s how you can easily improve your interview posture: lean forward during the interview. It’s subtle way to demonstrate that you are interested in what the interviewer is saying.
  • Keep eye contact. Need some tips on how to practice eye contact? Place a Post-It note on a wall, look at it, and rehearse your interview answers. If you can find a picture of your interviewer, you can tape his or her picture on the wall instead. For those of you who aren’t comfortable maintaining eye contact, it’s fine to look away for a second. After a brief pause, retrain your gaze on the interviewer.
  • Give a firm handshake. Many interviewers perceive candidates with limp handshakes as having poor presence, low self-esteem and questionable self-confidence. Fight that negative first impression with a strong handshake.
  • Be still. Some candidates sway their head, move their body, or tap their feet. These movements can distract the interviewer and may be interpreted as a sign of nervousness, impatience, or boredom. By the way, do you remember the movie, The Blair Witch Project? Yes, excessive movements can cause nausea.
  • Use purposeful hand gestures. A few hand gestures here and there can convey energy, excitement, and passion. Do try to make your hand gestures purposeful; the same gesture over and over again can be monotonous. Avoid crossing your arms during the interview, which is widely perceived as a defensive stance.
  • Project your voice. A strong voice is easier to understand and demonstrates confidence. Concerned that voice projection might come across as shouting during the interview? Have no fear. Cara Hale Alter tells me that most people can increase their voice volume a notch without jarring others’ ear drums.

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