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Master the Interview: Body Language Dos and Don’ts

March 09, 2020

Don’t underestimate the power of non-verbal communicators to sway an interview in the right or wrong direction. Read up on some body language dos and don’ts for your next interview.

Prepping for an interview? Once you’ve studied up on the company, reviewed your career goals, resume etc., practiced some typical interview Q&A, you’re ready to go, right? Well....not exactly. While good preparation for an interview is half the battle, your performance during the interview is critical to your chances of landing the job—and being aware of good and bad non-verbal communication is key.

3 key areas to pay attention to

Facial expressions- Eyes are the key non-verbal communicators. If an individual looks you in the eye, it infers that the person is telling you the truth, is interested and friendly. If an individual keeps diverting his/her eyes from yours, it infers the person is unfriendly, untruthful, shy, or not interested. The eyes also indicate fear, while the lower face, brows, and forehead indicate anger. If you don’t practice control, your face can, and will, betray your words during an interview. Also, a good smile always is well-received.

Posture- Sitting in a closed posture, such as crossed arms and legs conveys dislike or lack of interest. On the other hand, the open posture and leaning forward indicates enthusiasm and interest. During an interview, take a chair that diminishes the physical distance between you and the interviewer, sit straight in the chair leaning a little forward. Leaning back in the chair may convey to the interviewer that you are not enthusiastic about the interview or the position.

Hands and feet- Okay, so you’ve mastered the right facial expressions, but don’t forget your hands and feet. They also will help convey your thoughts and feelings. Don’t drum your fingers or crack your knuckles. Don’t tap or swing your foot relentlessly or shift leg positions. Your interviewer may be watching for these signals to clarify other unclear messages he/she is receiving. Sit in a comfortable position with both feet on the floor. While drumming fingers and cracking knuckles are out, you should use subtle hand gestures to emphasize points.

Avoid negative responses such as:

  • Looking away from the interviewer when you or he/she is speaking;
  • Weak handshake
  • Checking your cell-phone
  • Slouching.

The 4 most important things to remember:

  • Maintain eye contact
  • Project with a positive attitude
  • Lean towards the interviewer rather than leaning back
  • Smile when appropriate.

Don’t focus so much on controlling your natural body movements—that will do more harm than good! It’s more important to avoid doing certain things whenever possible. The more comfortable, confident and poised you come across, the better.

Stay tuned for our next blog in our “Master the Interview” series- “What traits turn Recruiters off?”

Contact KLR Executive Search Group, LLC with any questions.

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