How Mastering These 15 Body Language Cues Can Transform The Outcome of Your Job Interviews
How will you describe your Job interview experiences? Could it be a fun, intimidating yet exciting experience? Well, I will leave you with that conclusion. Interviews allow you to show off your skills, knowledge, and experience to stand out from other applicants. However, it is important to remember that body language can have an even greater impact on your interview than the words you say. Body language can easily convey feelings of confidence or insecurity that may not be so evident through verbal communication alone.
Therefore, it is essential to be aware of common body language mistakes that could cost you that job offer! In this blog, we will discuss 17 mistakes to avoid during job interviews in order to make a great impression and land your dream job! Learn from these and perfect your interview.
How Mastering These 17 Body Language Cues Can Transform Your Job Interviews and performance by 3x
Table of Contents
1. Avoid slouching in your chair
Slouching is a sign of laziness and disengagement, which will give the impression that you are not interested in the job or lack enthusiasm. Instead, sit up straight and maintain a good posture to show that you are engaged and confident.
Incorrect: Slouching gives the impression of laziness and disinterest.
Better: Maintain a good posture to show engagement and confidence.
2. Avoid crossing your arms
Crossing your arms can be interpreted as a sign of defensiveness or unwillingness to participate in the interview process. It gives the interviewer an impression that you are closed off or not open to their questions and ideas. Instead, try to remain open with your arms resting next to your body so that you appear more approachable and friendly.
Incorrect: Crossing arms can make you seem closed-off and uninterested.
Better: Keep your arms resting naturally to appear more approachable and open.
3. Avoid speaking too quickly
Speaking quickly during an interview can make it seem like you are not taking the time to think through your answers or that you are nervous. Try speaking at a comfortable pace so that the interviewer has time to ask follow-up questions and get insight into how you think about a topic.
Incorrect: Rapid speech may come across as nervous or inattentive.
Better: Speak at a comfortable pace, allowing time for thoughtful responses.
4. Don’t fidget too much
Fidgeting can be distracting for both you and the interviewer, which can take away from the conversation itself. Try to maintain a relaxed posture and avoid tapping your feet, shaking your leg, or playing with items on the desk. Tapping your feet may show impatience and suggest to the interviewer that you do not have enough time for them and their questions. Avoid touching your hair, face, and clothing – these motions are distracting and can make the interviewer feel uncomfortable.
You should avoid swaying while standing. This shows a lack of confidence in yourself as if you don’t have control over yourself or your environment. Making sudden movements such as leaning back or twitching can also make it seem like you are not interested in the job or don’t care about what is being said. Instead, take a few deep breaths and remain still throughout the interview to appear more composed and relaxed.
Incorrect: Fidgeting can be distracting and show nervousness.
Better: Stay composed and avoid excessive movements to maintain focus.
5. Too many hand movements
Hand gestures are a great way to emphasize points and make your answers more interesting. However, overusing them can be distracting and give the impression that you don’t know what you’re talking about. This can take away from what is being said. Try to keep your hands still as you speak so that the interviewer can focus on your answers rather than on how you are gesturing.
Avoid certain actions such as wringing your hands or clenching your fists. Wringing your hands shows a lack of confidence and may make you feel anxious or unsure about something. Clenching fists can come off as aggressive and should also be avoided.
Incorrect: Excessive hand gestures can distract from your message.
Better: Use controlled hand movements to emphasize points when necessary.
6. Don’t overdo eye contact
Maintaining strong eye contact throughout an interview is important in order to show that you are engaged and confident in yourself and what you have to say. Staring at the interviewer for too long can come off as intimidating and uncomfortable. Too much eye contact can make it seem like you are trying to intimidate or dominate the conversation, which can be off-putting. Try to maintain a natural and comfortable level of eye contact throughout the interview.
Incorrect: Staring excessively can be intimidating and uncomfortable.
Better: Maintain natural and comfortable eye contact throughout the interview.
7. Don’t make expressions that signal disagreement
Making facial expressions such as furrowing your brows or shaking your head when someone is talking can give the impression that you are disagreeing with them or not taking their words seriously. Instead, try to remain neutral in your facial expression so the interviewer does not feel like you oppose their opinions.
Avoid having an uninterested look on your face. This will make it appear like you are not paying attention or don’t care about what is being said. Don’t tilt your head to one side or nod too much because this can be seen as a sign of agreement even if you haven’t actually agreed to anything yet
Incorrect: Facial expressions of disagreement can create tension.
Better: Keep a neutral facial expression to show respect for the interviewer.
8. Pointing fingers
Pointing fingers during an interview can come across as aggressive and disrespectful, making it seem like you think you know better than the interviewer or have something to prove. Try instead to keep your hands in front of you or use open and inviting gestures to show that you are engaged in the conversation.
Incorrect: Pointing can come across as aggressive and disrespectful.
Better: Use open and inviting gestures to engage positively with the interviewer.
9. Don’t smile too much or too little
Smiling is important in order to show that you are friendly, approachable, and confident. However, smiling too much can be interpreted as insincerity and a lack of seriousness about the job, while not smiling enough can make it seem like you are not enjoying yourself during the interview. Try to maintain a natural balance between smiling and keeping a serious demeanor when appropriate.
Incorrect: Over or under-smiling can affect your sincerity.
Better: Maintain a balanced, genuine smile to appear friendly and confident.
10. Avoid mirroring the interviewer’s body language
Mirroring an interviewer’s body language can come across as overbearing or desperate for approval, rather than genuine. When an interviewer crosses their arms, don’t immediately follow suit. Instead, try to keep your body language open and relaxed while maintaining eye contact.
Maintain your own body language and be aware of what signals you are sending to the interviewer throughout.
Incorrect: Mimicking can be seen as insincere or desperate for approval.
Better: Maintain your own natural body language while remaining attentive.
11. Avoid covering your face
Covering your face with your hands, hair or other objects can give off the impression that you are not comfortable talking about yourself or answering questions honestly. It also creates a physical barrier between yourself and the interviewer which can be off-putting. Try instead to maintain an open posture so that the interviewer can see your face and you appear more accessible and confident.
Incorrect: Hiding your face can indicate discomfort or dishonesty.
Better: Keep an open posture to appear approachable and confident.
12. Don’t forget about your posture
Having good posture is important during an interview as it shows that you are alert and engaged in the conversation. Slouching or hunching over can give off the impression that you are not taking the job seriously or don’t care about what is being said while sitting up straight shows that you are attentive and eager to talk about yourself.
Try to maintain a relaxed but upright position throughout the interview so that you appear professional and composed. Having a tense posture can show that you are feeling anxious or uncomfortable, indicating that either you don’t understand what is being said or don’t feel comfortable speaking about yourself.
Incorrect: Poor posture may convey lack of interest or seriousness.
Better: Sit or stand upright to show attentiveness and professionalism.
13. Don’t Stare in the name of Keeping Eye contact
There is a thin line between making eye contact to show interest and staring in an effort to establish dominance. Staring at someone without blinking can make the other person feel uncomfortable and may portray you as a hostile individual. Instead, maintain a comfortable level of eye contact while speaking or listening. Breaking your gaze every few seconds is fine as it shows you are listening attentively.
Incorrect: Unblinking stares can make the interviewer uncomfortable.
Better: Maintain comfortable eye contact, breaking gaze periodically.
14. Don’t Fake interest; Be genuine
It is important to show interest in the conversation and come across as enthusiastic. However, this should be done in a genuine manner. Faking enthusiasm with too much smiling or nodding can make it appear like you are not being honest or are just saying what the interviewer wants to hear. Instead, take your time to answer questions thoughtfully and keep your body language open and relaxed.
Incorrect: Overacting enthusiasm may come across as insincere.
Better: Show genuine interest with thoughtful responses and attentive body language.
15. Don’t Rudely interrupt the interviewer
It is important to be polite and courteous during an interview. Interrupting the interviewer can come off as rude and disrespectful, making it seem like you think you know better than them or have something to prove. Try instead to listen attentively and wait for your turn to speak in order to show that you are engaged in the conversation.
Incorrect: Interrupting shows disrespect and a lack of patience.
Better: Listen attentively and wait for your turn to speak.
Tips for Practicing and Improving Body Language:
- Practice in front of a mirror or with a friend: Observe your body language and make adjustments to appear more confident and approachable.
- Record mock interviews: Review the recordings to identify areas for improvement and work on your gestures and expressions.
- Join a public speaking or communication workshop: These classes can help you learn how to use body language effectively during interviews.
- Visualize success: Picture yourself in a successful interview scenario, maintaining positive body language throughout.
- Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques: These techniques can help reduce nervous fidgeting and promote a composed demeanor.
It is important to remember that body language speaks louder than words. Body language conveys feelings of confidence or insecurity that may not be so evident through verbal communication alone. Therefore, it is essential to be mindful of common body language mistakes during job interviews in order to make a good impression and put your best foot forward!
By avoiding these 17 body language mistakes when interviewing for a job, you will increase your chances of landing your dream job! Good luck with all of your future endeavors!