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Interview Body Language Tips

23/10/2019 By Lily Senior

We’ve all heard the saying that communication is 5% what you say and 95% how you say it. Body language is certainly very important in an interview situation, but is it really something you can learn to do better? Not necessarily, but there are definitely some great ways to present yourself at interview and maximise your chances of securing a job offer.

Be Natural

The key point to remember is not to get so hung up on your body language that all you’re concentrating on is the way you’re sitting, or standing, or speaking. There are a few basic rules to follow, but don’t focus too much on the tiny details as you’ll forget about the rest of it. Remember too that as soon as you walk through the door into the office you’re being judged. Don’t just turn on the charm to the interviewers; they might ask the receptionist what they thought of you too.

Eye Contact

If you only remember one thing about body language it’s about maintaining eye contact. That doesn’t mean engaging in a staring competition with the interviewers and seeing who blinks first. It’s about appearing interested and engaged with what they are saying, and proving that you are interested in what they have to say. If you’re being interviewed by a panel, make an effort to maintain eye contact with each panel member equally. If you find eye contact uncomfortable, try not to stare at the floor or your hands instead as this will make you appear nervous and lacking in confidence.

Sit Up Straight

If you don’t sit up straight in interviews and look as if you’re lounging or slouching, it’s going to appear that you’re not serious about the interview and are too relaxed. Try not to fiddle with jewellery, your watch or buttons on your jacket if you feel nervous, instead keep your hands folded in your lap. Leaning forward, but not excessively so, will demonstrate that you are showing interest in what is being said to you.

Practice your Handshake

Usually, the only physical contact you’ll have with the people interviewing you will be when you shake their hand at the start or end of the interview. Your handshake should be firm – not too strong with the risk of crushing their hands, but not limp and weak as this could mean you come across as unconfident and submissive. If you struggle with handshakes, ask a willing friend or relative if they would practice with you before the interview date.

Smile

Coming across as miserable or grumpy is a sure fire way not to get the job. Employers want to think you’re happy to be there and interested in what they have to say. They’re not expecting to see you grinning like the Cheshire Car throughout the interview, but a smile to accompany your handshake when you first walk in, and a smile when the interviewer tries to crack a joke is always a good move.

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