Body Language Tips for an Interview

November 16, 2008 by Abhishek Bhardwaj
Filed under: Career Tips 

It is said that the state of your body, postures and hand gestures can tell a lot about your personality and communicate your thoughts. Employers abide to this as a hard rule while judging candidates for a job. Most employers have had made an opinion about a candidate in first 10-15 minutes or so. That is because only 15% of our communication is through words and the rest happens automatically through our eyebrow movement, hand gestures, our posture and what not. This silent form of wordless communication is known as body language.

What we communicate through body language at times happens without an enforced effort on out part. It just happens on it’s own. For instance you won’t believe someone who just said, “I am happy” with a long face and slagging shoulders – you would know its not the case. The other person wanted you to believe he was happy by saying so but you came to know the truth by what he communicated through his body language.

In a similar way you are adjudged based on your body language. So, how to present yourself for an interview?

1. Be humble and confident

Before anything else greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake with proper eye contact. This shows respect and interest and also your confidence and self esteem. You greeting the interviewer should not look like flattery. There is a noticeable difference between flattery and that you appreciate the opportunity.

Try and maintain a polite smile through out your conversation – that’ll help the interviewer in easing out with you and as a common practice, interviewers also maintain a smile to make you comfortable.

2. Do not explode with energy

Being energetic is good but while dealing with interview questions in an energetic manner send out a wrong signal. The more energy you’ll have the more strong your hand gestures become and your voice tone becomes fidgety.

Try and stay calm and take every question as an opportunity to sell yourself better. There is no point to be made to the interviewer by being aggressive; he’s only looking for a cool person to have in his team who would be calm and enjoyable to work with for other team members too.

3. Hand and arm gestures

Avoid touching your neck, ears, cheeks or eyes during the interview. The other person might think you are concealing something or lying about something. This assumption is based on a theory used by Lie Detecting Specialists and Interrogators that a lying person tries to avoid eye contact and tries to get shelter by covering his face with hands or touching organs near the face time to time.

Crossed arms or joined hands signal that you are shut and not willing to be receptive. To rise forward as an open minded person, keep your arms uncrossed and hands open with palms facing the table. And when hands on table avoid tapping your fingers while speaking – this often signals dilemma or dubious thoughts. Being dubious within yourself is not going to show you as a trustworthy person.

4. Do not cross your legs

This according to some body language experts creates a barrier in front of the other person. Show that you are friendly and unguarded.

5. Sitting Posture

Sitting in a posture with erect back shows your interest and attentiveness in the ongoing activity. Do not slouch or slag your shoulders. Broaden your shoulders and sit straight but don’t overdo it! :D Overdoing it would show that you’re over confident or nervous or conscious about something.

Do’s and Dont’s in 4 C’s

Be cool, calm, confident and cheerful during an interview.
Never be cheesy, crossed, closed or cunning.

That’s all, enjoy the curry!

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4 Responses to “Body Language Tips for an Interview”

  1. Que on November 17th, 2008 11:14 pm

    Another thing
    Be Honest -
    If you don’t know something or are in a spot where u are not sure about something, Be honest about it and ask questions or say it how it is. The more you try to build an act around it, the more the interviewer can figure out u are fibbing. They are usually experienced enough to figure this out.
    You being straight would be appreciated way more than anything else.


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