Body language mistakes during an interviewTuesday, 23 February 2016
How you answer the interviewer's questions is important when determining if you're the right person for the job. But your body language says to the employer is also important. Your facial expressions, posture, and behaviour can say a lot about you. Often telling the other person things about you your words aren't.
Bad body language includes:
- Not making eye contact
- Not smiling
- Playing with things in your hands
- Slouching in your seat
- Fidgeting with your hands, feet, arms, or legs
- Sitting with your arms crossed
- Talking with your hands too often
Eye contact is often associated with trust. Look up, down, or side to side when talking to the interviewer, makes you seem dishonest or unsure of what they were saying.
Smiling is also associated with confidence. If you frown every time the employer asks you a question they may think you're unsure of what to say, or don't understand the question.
Playing with things in your hands such as a pen, pencil, or paper gives the impression that you're nervous or anxious. Interviews can be stressful, but don't let the employer see it's affecting you.
Slouching in your seat is a clear sign that you don't care enough about the interview and is disrespectful to the interviewer. If you can't be bothered to put in effort for the short time the interview takes, how are you going to act on the job?
Constant fidgeting or moving during the interview is very distracting and makes you look unprofessional. You want the interviewer paying attention to what you're saying, not the sound of you tapping your feet on the ground.
Sitting with your arms crossed in a defensive body language. By putting a barrier between you and the employer you feel more at ease. When sitting in this defensive posture it looks like you're nervous about something are have something to hide. So try to relax and uncross your arms whenever you catch yourself moving into this position.
It may be tempting to talk using your hands. I'm not talking about sign language here. I'm talking about when people move their hands back and forth making different gestures when they're talking. Try to limit this behaviour and let your words speak for themselves.
To get an idea for what your body language says about you it can be helpful to video yourself during a trial interview. Watch how you talk and move during the interview and see if there are any areas that you can improve upon. In addition to understanding what your body language says about you. Try to de-stress before the interview by preparing and practising your answers. This way you don't have to worry about what you'll say during the interview.
Bad body language makes you look nervous, unsure, distracted, and unprofessional. Keep an eye on how you act and carry yourself during an interview, and you'll look like the confident professional that you are.