young man in office body language waiting listening closeup

The Interview: Body Language

We are regularly asked by executives on how they should prepare for an interview. Some more obvious requirements would be ensuring that you have conducted sufficient research on the company, their products and values. Backing your experience by providing tangible examples of your responsibilities and of course looking sharp for the interview are hallmarks of good interview preparation.

However, have you thought about what your body language is saying during an interview? Some quick tips below to ensure you convey the correct message:

– You may be nervous, but avoiding eye contact with your interviewer may create an impression of untrustworthiness or dishonesty. Equally, staring at your interviewer intensely may just make them feel a little awkward and come off as aggressive. The trick is not to overthink it and be natural. Try making eye contact while you are engaged in conversation, but also allow your eyes to wonder occasionally.

– Keep your back straight and do not slouch. You want to exude confidence and show interest in your interviewer. Reclining backwards in your chair or slouching may indicate that you are disinterested.

– It is widely acknowledged that mirroring the body language of the person opposite you can create understanding, show admiration and allow you to bond. You are saying “I am like you”.

– Showing your palms can indicate honesty and openness, so don’t feel shy about using hand gestures, while talking. However, do keep it in moderation. Too much and you may come across as nervous.

– Finally, use the handshake to your advantage. Too limp and you risk appearing neurotic or weak. Crush your interviewer’s hand and you may come across as aggressive and domineering. Aim to make eye contact and smile, whilst applying firm pressure.

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