Effective communication in a job interview is dependent on more than just the words you speak. Non-verbal communication is integral to the message you send, either helping or hurting your chances at a new job. By staying conscious of good interview body language, you can keep your professional image from tanking with a misplaced slight or signal.
Your Eyes – Wandering eyes can give the impression that your attention is elsewhere. However, uninterrupted eye contact can unintentionally convey anger. Where is the middle ground?
Ease up from time to time. It’s okay to look away from the interviewer when you’re thinking about what you’re going to say next. Most people naturally look away when they’re engrossed in thought. Just make sure to maintain eye contact when an interviewer is asking a question. It’s a universal body language sign that the interviewer has your undivided attention.
Your Facial Expressions – Your facial expression indicates your personality to interviewers. Moreover, 38% of employers comment that bad interviewees failed to smile. If you have all the exuberance of a department store mannequin, no interviewer will be able to read your personality. That is why you should smile often and be aware of how your facial expressions appear to an outsider.
Your Posture – Posture can send a powerful non-verbal message. If your spine is too rigid, you give the impression that you’re an uptight, uncompromising person. Slouchers, inversely, give the impression of listless boredom. The posture of the hiring manager is an indicator of how you should be sitting – the only exception being when your interviewer is slouching.
Your Gestures – Exaggerated hand movements or a shaky leg with a mind of its own imply nervousness to most hiring managers. 33% of employers report that a common interview mistake is to fidget throughout the interview, so it’s enough of a problem that you should keep control of your motions.
Keep your body movement steady. You don’t want to be an unresponsive statue but you shouldn’t be flapping around like a fish on shore.
Your Feet – In Arabic culture, showing someone the sole of your shoe is considered a grave insult. Though it’s not a universal insult, resting your foot on your knee can give the impression that you fail to take a particular interview seriously. Keep your feet firmly on the ground at all times.
by James Walsh