Advice on How Body Language Can Make or Break an Interview

Everyone knows that body language is critical during job interviews. It is a form of nonverbal communication that is just as important as the words you say. After you’ve perfected your resume with the right words, qualifications and references, your next step will be the in-person interview. This is when your body language will make or break the interview.

Here are some pointers on how to ace the interview with your body language:

  • Be confident but not arrogant. Stand up straight, make eye contact, smile and show poise. Take some deep breaths while you’re waiting to be interviewed; this will calm your body even if your mind is racing.
  • Speak clearly and slowly. Enunciate your words, slow down and speak up. You’re nervous but speaking slowly can help your brain catch up to your words.
  • Perfect the handshake. You’ll inevitably have to shake hands with the interviewer and other team members. Don’t make it a limp handshake but you also don’t want to leave a bruise. Consider practicing this until you’re sure of your grip.
  • Mirror their body language. If they sit and there is a seat nearby, sit down. Don’t tower over those in the room. The interviewer may sit casually, which is your cue to be a bit more casual but not overly. For example: if they put their feet on the desk, it’s not recommended you do the same. You might, however, sit back in your seat a bit and appear more relaxed. If they take off their suit jacket, you should feel free to unbutton yours, but not take it off. A balance of respect for the situation and making those around you comfortable is the ideal.
  • Sit/stand up tall with your arms and belonging at your sides. Having items in your lap or your arms crossed in front of you will make you seem closed off and even fidgety.
  • Remember from the time you enter the building, eyes are watching you. They may be part of the extended team and will want to see if you’re confident and nice to others. Carry yourself as though everyone is watching you from the time you pull into the parking lot to after you leave the property.

No amount of words can make up for bad body language. You could be well-qualified and excited for the job but if you come off as stand-offish and nonchalant, the hiring manager could get the entirely wrong idea of you and your abilities.

Practice your walk, practice handshakes, practice sitting down with a portfolio and even getting up to greet other team members. Ask your recruiter for help with this. They will be able to guide you through the process; after all, their success is dependent on you! With locations in PortlandClackamasBeavertonEverett, and Vancouver, our skilled recruiters are ready to help you make your workplace the best it can be! Call NW Staffing today.

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