Body language tips when you face a job interview

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Body language tips when you face a job interview
Body language tips when you face a job interview

The job interview is necessary if you want gainful employment. After all, how can you pay for the data plan enabling you to read this?

However, the interview is something that contains elements that you might not be conscious of. Chief of those elements is your body language.

A hiring manager, for example, can spot a nervous tick or stutter that may signal a loss of confidence or uncertainty in a candidate.

For whatever reason, those things that go against you are the difference between orientation and starting from square one in the job search.

Here are things to consider, body language-wise, when you're face-to-face with the interviewer, all suggested by occupational and etiquette experts:

Shaking hands: Business Insider spoke to career advice expert Amanda Augustine, who said a firm handshake with the manager at the beginning of the interview should "demonstrate confidence, create a bond," and most important, make you become more memorable. It's also worth practicing a gracious handshake in case things get awkward. All of this should be tackled in three seconds or less.

Eye contact: At the handshake, eye contact establishes trustworthiness, according to author Heidi Grant Halvorson. Remember not to be "overly persistent" with the eye contact, and just maintain a regular gaze throughout the interview. Look away, even, if you feel like you're staring for too long, Augustine suggests.

Sit up straight: Lounging, according to Augustine, suggests disinterest in the job. Slouching or slumping over suggests a lack of confidence. If anything, Augustine suggests sitting "as if there was a string tied from the top of your head to the ceiling." In one posture, you display confidence and intelligence, according to Augustine.

Leaning in: Of course, you want to let your interviewer know you're engaged in the conversation, but don't overstep personal space. A good rule of thumb that one expert suggests is that personal space extends about 20 inches. Clear this and you should still be good enough to display your interest in the topic.

Mirroring: While you still keep sitting up straight in mind, you should align your body's position to that of the interviewer's, as suggested by Rosemary Haefner of CareerBuilder. She says this shows admiration and agreement.

Crossing arms and legs: Experts suggest against this, saying it makes you appear defensive or guarded.

"What do I do with my hands?": Augustine says the tips of your hands put together like a church steeple will display confidence. Keep them out of your pockets.

Nodding: This head move shows agreeability and lets the interviewer know that you understand what he or she is saying. Of course, don't over do this, unless you really want to come off as a woodpecker.

Smiling: Time to put warmth and positivity into the interview. A genuine smile can be contagious. However, experts say you may fall into a trap of reverting to a neutral, resting face. J.T. O'Donnell of says try putting your ring or watch on the other hand, and every time you see your objects in a weird place, that should remind you to smile.

Walking: Walk with purpose but don't strut, skip, whistle, or power walk, says one expert.

Acknowledge the room: In the event that you're being interviewed by a team, briefly address them with a quick gaze, Haefner suggest. Just don't make it look like a tennis match.