Body Language for Interviews

The non-verbal communication during an interview is almost as important as what you say. Panellists also look at what your body tells them and will notice if your tone doesn’t match the expression on your face. Here’s what to watch out for:

  1. MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT: Eye contact is crucial and should be as natural as possible. If you don’t look at the interviewer in the eye, it implies that you are a shy person, who is unsure of himself. On the other hand, staring at a person without a break can be intimidating. Hold eye contact for about 10 seconds before looking at other members of the panel. Make random eye contact with others before returning to the person who asks the question.

  2. MIND YOUR HEAD: Keeping your head straight shows you are neutral to what is being said. Tilting it slightly to one side indicates a positive attitude as you are telling the interviewer that you are ready to listen. However, don’t face the panel with your head pointing downwards. It signals a negative and judgemental attitude. Also, don’t nod too much-it denotes nervousness and a desperate attempt to agree.
  3. CONTROL YOUR ARMS AND HANDS: Never cross your arms. It is a sign of a closed mind, implying that you disagree with the interviewer. Keep your hands in your lap or on your knees, but don’t grip them tightly, which indicates you are tense. If you lie, your body can give you away. Covering your mouth with the thumb pressed against the cheek, is a sure sign of lying. Rubbing lightly below the nose or eyes, touching your ears or scratching your neck are also indication that the person is lying.

  4. SIT STRAIGHT, FEET ON GROUND: Do not take a seat until you are offered one. Sit in a way that you occupy as much space in the chair as possible. Leaning back indicates boredom or arrogance. However, leaning forward can be a sign of aggression, even nervousness. Experts advise that you should sit straight, but not in a stiff posture. Keep both feet on the ground and do not cross your legs, since you could be seen as being unsure of yourself.