Body language in an interiew
Image: CrackerClips Stock Media/Shutterstock

Is your body language costing you your dream job?

12 May 2017

Do you have an interview coming up? Make sure your body language isn’t stopping you from getting your dream job.

Everyone prepares for job interviews differently.

You probably know your CV inside out, you’re ready to talk about your achievements, you know your strengths and weaknesses, and you know how to tell the recruiter that you’re the perfect candidate.

However, while you may be familiar with the importance and power of body language, it’s an easy one to forget about right before a job interview.

How you present yourself can have an extremely positive or negative impact on how you are perceived.

Bad body language, such as fidgeting or slouching, can also be very distracting for your interviewers.

The most common body language mistakes in interviews include lack of eye contact, not smiling and a weak handshake. These might all sound obvious but, if it was that easy, they wouldn’t be so common.

When we’re nervous, or trying to remember all the reasons that we’re great, we can easily forget to smile. Also, your words will not come across confident or effective if you don’t make eye contact. That might mean you lose out on the job to someone who displayed better body language and more confidence.

While you’re practising your answers or your elevator pitch, or just preparing for your interview in general, be sure to factor in body language.

Practise standing tall, then sit down and go over some of your answers. Pay particular attention to how your body reacts when you do this. Are you crossing and uncrossing your legs repeatedly? What are you doing with your hands? Are you shuffling in your seat?

Make sure you nip your fidgeting habits in the bud before your job interview.

On the day of the actual interview, stand in front of the mirror and smile. A lot. You may feel silly, but this will calm your anxiety and relax your face so that you can come across more natural.

Watch out for over-exaggerated nodding, too. You might be overtly aware of trying to show that you’re actively listening and while that’s important, it can actually have the opposite effect if you do it too much.

For more tips on using good body language in your next job interview, check out this infographic from On Stride Financial.

7 body language

Infographic: On Stride Financial

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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