Using Body Language in the Job Interview

When interviewing for a job, body language can be an invaluable tool. Whether your own body language or the language of those who are interviewing you, understanding what certain body language cues tell you can help you be more effective as you interview.

What Your Own Body Language Tells the Interviewer

From the moment you get out of your vehicle in the parking lot to the second you re-enter it to leave, your body language is important. Carry yourself tall and walk confidently to show anyone who is watching that you are confident in your skills. When you sit down, either in the waiting room or in the interview, sit with your chest up and your back straight, giving the look that you are poised and in control.

Pay attention to your legs. Keep them close to your body and both feet on the floor. Elongating your stance by putting your legs out in front of you or crossing your legs makes you appear too comfortable. Greet with a firm, but not too forceful, handshake.

During the interview, lean forward slightly when the other person is talking to show interest in what is being said. Smile and look your interviewer in the eye, holding eye contact well. This tells the interviewer that you are comfortable, confident and friendly.

What The Interviewer’s Body Language Tells You

Pay attention to the interviewer’s body language as well as your own. It can give you several clues about how well the interview is going. If the interviewer stops taking notes and starts checking the clock, you are boring him. It’s time to add some interest.

If the interviewer crosses his arms and flares his nostrils, you have offended him. Think about what you said and try to frame it in a better light. Quickly raised eyebrows indicates the interviewer does not agree with what you said.

On the other hand, if the interviewer is leaning forward, then he is interested and in agreement with what you’ve said. If an interveiwer mirrors your body language, it also indicates the interview is going well.

By understanding body language, you can position yourself to be a powerful interviewee. So the next time you have a interview, brush up on your body language knowledge to give yourself an edge.

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