Body Language - Speaking the Unspoken

Posted by Andrew on March 24, 2017

In an interview, apart from the usual etiquette regarding dress codes, arriving on time and communication before and after the interview, it is also important to pay attention to your body language. The way you present yourself reveals a great deal about your personality and this can be judged through your body language.

Starting from the moment you enter the office, the hiring manager is likely to pick up signs about your behavior and start forming impressions. Before you even say a word, your entrance reveals your demeanor in the way you walk into the room. Walk in a calm and confident manner. Avoid carrying too many items in your hands, otherwise you risk dropping them. At the most you should have a folder which contains your documents, and all other item such as phones should be in a handbag or in a pocket. Be confident but don’t be cocky. If you walk in with a swagger, that sets off a negative impression immediately as it indicates your overly confident attitude.

If you asked to be seated, make sure you sit straight with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Don’t slouch in your seat and avoid fidgeting, by tapping your feet or playing with pens etc. Be patient and friendly and use this time to relax yourself before the interview starts.

Once the hiring manager comes to call you inside the interview room, stand up and introduce yourself with a handshake. The secret to a perfect handshake is to find the right balance between a limp handshake and an overly aggressive handshake. Make eye contact with the hiring manager and address them by their title and last name with a greeting.

Follow their lead into the interview room and sit when directed to. When seated make sure that you are sitting straight back in your chair. Be relaxed and maintain a calm posture. When answering questions, keep your palms facing up. It is a sign of openness and honestly. Do not clench your fists or cross your arms together, it makes you look defensive. Make regular eye contact but avoid staring directly for long periods of time. Lean in slightly when talking, and make sure to nod during appropriate periods when listening. Make sure your expression matches your tone, you want to sound passionate about what you are saying. Smile and engage with the hiring manger. Your personality forms a big part of your impression.

When exiting the interview, be gracious. Get up smoothly and smile. Thank the interviewer for their time and shake hands. Your body language can speak what your words may not convey so make sure you use it to your advantage.