Assume the Position: Watch Your Body Language in Your Job Interview

October 17, 2012


What you say in a job interview is important, but it’s not the whole picture. Companies generally want to hire people who are energetic and enthusiastic. You can spend all day talking about how excited you are about the position, but if your facial expressions and body language don’t match your words, you’ll trigger a big red flag in the interviewer’s mind.

Here are four tips to help you align your body with your words:

1. Smile
Have you heard the expression “fake it until you make it?” The idea is that if you perform a behavior, your mindset will naturally follow. If you walk into an interview with a smile, no matter whether or not you’re feeling it, your speech and attitude toward the interviewer will reflect it.

2. Stand Up / Sit Up Straight
Slouching or leaning back in your chair are casual postures, but a job interview is not a casual situation. Slouching sends the signal that you’re not confident, while leaning back may send the message that you’re too confident or relaxed. Sitting up straight shows you are confident, alert, and at attention.

3. Lean In
The next time you’re involved in an interesting conversation, notice the position of your body. Chances are you’re leaning toward the person who’s speaking. It’s body language for “I’m enthralled and I want to make sure I hear every word you say.” Leaning toward the interviewer sends the signal that you are genuinely interested in the job. One word of warning – don’t overdo it! There’s a difference between leaning in and invading someone’s personal space.

4. Watch the Fidgeting
It’s normal to be anxious in a job interview. But be mindful of those little nervous habits you have like tapping your feet, tapping your pen on your notepad, or clicking your pen open and shut. In addition to signaling anxiety, these little tics may also give the interviewer the impression that you’re in a hurry to get out of there.

If you need some more tips about good job interview techniques, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help. Also, please take a look at our list of open positions and contact us if you see a job that looks like a good fit for you.

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