What your body language is really saying about you at Interview

Ange Connor

It’s not always simply about what you say at an interview. Your body language plays a very important role in how you are assessed when attending an interview. While your responses to interview questions are crucial to nailing the interview you need to make sure your body language is mirroring and compliments the words that are coming out your mouth.

What do I mean by body language? Our body language is our nonverbal communication, it’s how we express ourselves through physical behaviours like facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch, use of space. You can be sure that the Interviewer is assessing your body language at an interview and what they observe impacts on how well you score at that interview.

If you want to nail your next interview, here’s our top 5 pet peeves when it comes to poor body language:

  • Lack of eye contact – You might be nervous but if you can’t maintain eye contact with us during the interview it’s a big negative. If your eyes are darting all over the room or looking off in to the corner of the room we are wondering how engaged you are in the interview, how you are going to engage with others when you’re in the job and it can be a sign you are lying. We don’t want you to stare us down so you need to find a happy medium.
  • Slouching in your chair – Your posture at interview is crucial in conveying how serious you are about the interview and your professionalism. Someone who sits up straight in their chair, with their shoulders back portrays a much more professional, confident and energetic image than someone who slouches down in their chair with slumped shoulders.
  • Distracting the interviewer with your hands – I’m guilty of this one! I talk a lot with my hands, it helps me convey my message and emphasise points however if my hands are flailing around too much it can become very distracting. Fidgeting is another negative. Often people fidget when they are nervous and it’s normal to be nervous when being interviewed. If you know you are a fidgeter, find something to hold on to (like a compendium), to steady your hand movements or sit on your hands!
  • Lack of facial expressions – Your facial expressions will help demonstrate how engaged you are in the interview and if you are liking and enjoying the interview. Sitting there with no facial expressions; not smiling, not nodding your head in agreement or understanding, glazed over eyes are all signs that you are not engaged or in tune with the information the interviewer is communicating.
  • A sloppy handshake – How hard can it be to shake the interviewers hand? You might be surprised. A sloppy handshake lacks firmness, it’s when you don’t grasp the other persons hand fully, it lacks appropriate motion, you hold on to the other person’s hand for too long or not long enough. At the same time, you don’t want to crush the other person’s hand. If you’re not sure if you’ve got it right; practice makes perfect. Getting the handshake wrong tells us a lot about your personality and style.

Even if you nail every interview question, if you get the body language element wrong you will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. What is your body language saying about? How do you want to be remembered by the Interviewer?

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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