Blogs

How body language affects your interview technique

25 Jul 2012

Studies show that 33% of bosses claim they know within 90 seconds whether or not they are going to hire someone. As a result it’s important to be aware of the subtle yet vital signals you give off and how they may affect the result of the interview.  In poker terminology, these are known as “tells”

Statistics show when meeting new people the impact is:

  • 55% from the way we dress, behave and walk through the door
  • 38% from the quality of our voice, language and overall confidence
  • 7% from what we actually say

So you may be saying all the right things and have the exact skills and experience for the job, but if you have a weak handshake, fidget and don’t maintain eye contact, your opportunity to impress may be over before you have even sat down.
The following are some common non-verbal mistakes made during interviews:

  • Failure to make and maintain eye contact
  • Little or no knowledge of the company
  • Doesn’t smile
  • Bad posture
  • Fidgeting too much
  • A weak handshake
  • Playing  with hair or touching face
  • Crossing arms over chest
  • Using too many hand gestures

To give you the best chance of making the best impression possible

  • Compose yourself before the interview.  Find a mirror, straighten your clothes, brush your hair and check you are looking your best
  • If you feel nervous it is a good idea to take some deep breaths to calm your nerves
  • Stand up to greet your interviewer(s)
  • Use a firm handshake and maintain good eye contact
  • Sit up straight, keep your hands above the table and ensure you can align yourself to make eye contact
  • Speak clearly to the interviewer(s)
  • Express enthusiasm throughout your interview through positive gestures such as nodding, agreeing and smiling where appropriate
  • Thank the interviewer(s) for their time

Positive body language comes from feeling confident, which you can only do if you’re equipped to show off your skills and ask the right questions.  Preparation is therefore the crucial first step, for more information see our Careers Advice Page and sign up for our newsletter for regular useful blogs.

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