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How to Use Body Language Effectively at Interviews

When going for a job interview, your body language can make it or break it. From the second you walk in, to the moment you leave, your body language can say a lot about you as a person. How you sit, talk and shake hands can be a deciding factor in whether you get the job or not. Your body language will create potential employers’ first impression of you, so you want to cover the nerves and show off your personality in the right way.

Try to initiate the first handshake, this will make you seem confident and ready for the interview. Make sure to give a firm handshake, not too soft which could make you appear unsure and nervous, and not too strong which could make you seem aggressive. Always make sure to give a handshake with a genuine smile.

Don’t Slouch
How you sit at an interview is important in making a good first impression. Sit up straight, leaning slightly forward to show that you are engaged in the conversation. Don’t slouch or slump in your chair, you want to look comfortable, but not too comfortable.

Eye Contact
Having good eye contact with your interviewer(s) will show that you are interested in the conversation, as well as making you seem approachable and engaged. No eye contact can make interviewees seem nervous or distant. It is important not to stare but to make eye contact every couple of seconds instead.

Nod Your Head
When being asked questions or spoken to about the company by your interviewer, nod your head, but not constantly. This will show attentiveness and will also reinforce to a potential employer that you are listening and understand what is being said.

Hand Gestures
When people are nervous, they tend to either do nothing with their hands, or use them too much. Use your hands subtly to emphasise the points you are making or place them comfortably on your knees with your palms slightly facing upwards. Don’t cross your arms across your body as this may make you come across as defensive instead of open when talking to your interviewer.

Place Your Feet Firmly on the Floor
Once sat, place both feet on the floor. If you would naturally cross your legs, try crossing your ankles instead so if you want to move during the interview, it creates less of a movement and prevents you moving your legs a lot throughout.

One of the most important things to do in an interview is smile. Having a genuine smile will show off your personality to interviewers, and make you open and warm, someone a potential employer would want to hire. However, it is important not to smile too much and appear false or that you are trying too hard. Relax, and let your natural smile follow.

Using body language effectively can show off your personality and help you make the perfect first impression to potential employers. If you’re looking for your next job or to find out more, give us a call.