The Importance of Body Language in an Interview

The Importance of Body Language in an Interview

Preparing good answers for common interview questions is a great way to appear qualified and confident. For most interviews, it is crucial to get the message across to the interviewer that you are trustworthy and fully capable of doing the job. However, what you say during a job interview will comprise only part of your message. The rest will come from your body language.

Remembering a few things about effective body language can help you communicate a positive message to your interviewer. You can make a solid first impression with a firm, but not iron, handshake that accompanies eye contact and a smile. Keeping arms open and uncrossed will communicate a warm and friendly message, and sitting tall with your back against the back of the seat will communicate a message of confidence. Through keeping an interested expression and aiming to keep eye contact for 2/3 of the interview, you can convey that you are engaged and ready to take on the job. Many interviewers report that bad interviews most often contain little to no eye contact! However, locked eyes or too much eye contact can cause you to appear overly aggressive or creepy, so be sure to look away occasionally.

Furthermore, hand gestures can be an essential part of your message to the interviewer. Simple, infrequent hand gestures help emphasize what you are saying—however, avoid pointing or using too many hand gestures, as this can make you appear fidgety and disingenuous. Playing with your hair or touching your face can also make you appear unprofessional, so if you are unsure what to do with your hands, folding them together and holding them in your lap is an easy, neutral gesture that you can hold until the initial nervousness decreases and you begin to deliver those great answers that you prepared earlier. Just be sure to give another firm handshake, a smile, and eye contact once the interview is over!

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