How To Improve Your Body Language During An Interview

By Connor Barry on July 9, 2021

Key Points:

  • Important first impressions
  • Body language tips for both in-person and video call interviews
  • Decoding what the interviewer’s body language is saying about your interview

If you’re getting ready for a job interview, your answers to the interviewer’s questions aren’t the only part of the interview you should practice. Your handshake, posture, and eye contact are just as important, and arguably more important, during the job interview. Of course, nonverbal communication is vital in any conversation. Nonverbal communication typically includes tone of voice, appearance, and body language, but we’ll focus on the body language portion of nonverbal communication in this article.

While many job searchers are completing job interviews from home, it’s still important to keep these tips in mind. This article will read through tips for what body language you should have during the interview and what body language to look out for from your interviewer. Please keep in mind that overall it’s important to be yourself and these tips are there to help you bring the best version of yourself to the interview.

What body language you should have during the interview

If the interview is in person, there is one differentiating factor than if over video conferencing. First and foremost, the interview in person should kick off with a firm handshake. Then, the rest of the tips fall under both in-person or over video calls.

  • When interviewing, it’s essential to match the interviewer’s attitude. For instance, if the interviewer seems relatively casual, it’s acceptable not to be as formal.
  • Maintaining eye contact shows confidence and your interest in the position. If you’re diverting your eyes, it can come across that you’d rather be elsewhere.
  • Sitting up straight shows that you are confident in the topic of conversation. You should avoid slumping at all costs. However, leaning into the conversation is encouraged to show your interest.
  • One should never force a smile, but a genuine smile shows you are engaged in the conversation.
  • Make sure there aren’t any distractions before the interview. To avoid checking your phone, turn your phone on silent.
  • Sometimes we fidget out of habit or out of anxiousness, but you should avoid fidgeting during an interview as it will come across that you are uncomfortable.
  • When the interviewer speaks, give non-verbal responses to show you are listening and interested in the topic.

What body language to look out for in the interview

Now that we’ve established what you can do to better your interview through body language, we can talk through a few tips on figuring out whether your interview is going well by looking at your interviewer’s body language. The information below applies to both in-person and over video conferencing.

  • If your interviewer’s eyes are diverting or seem preoccupied, then make sure you’re not long-winded in response.
  • If the interviewer’s smile also shows crinkles at the corners of their eyes, the smile is genuine and not forced.
  • A tilted head can display interest in the conversation at hand.
  • If the interviewer is shifting weight or fidgeting, this usually means the interviewer is anxious or bored.

While these tips show you what to do and what to look out for, it’s important not to overthink all body language. Some micro-expressions happen naturally to others and should be overlooked. If you’re looking for more tips on the interview process, check out this article on how to make a good impression after a job interview.


Images from Canva

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