Your interview body language can make or break your opportunity for a job offer. Thus, it’s good to do a quality pre-check on yourself.
A recent infographic from SOAP, a professional presentations company, called out body language mistakes people make while speaking to groups. Many items on SOAP’s list also apply to job interviews.
8 Interview Body Language Fails
So, if you want to connect well with your interviewers, don’t:
- Cross your arms or legs or splay your legs.
- Avoid eye contact with your interviewers.
- Stare at a single spot.
- Talk too much.
- Repeat gestures over and over.
- Forget to smile as you engage with your interviewers.
- Talk “too fast, too slow, or too low.”
Rehearse Your Interviews
If you think you might be committing one or more of the 8 Body Language Fails, then rehearse.
It’s a good idea to walk through a test interview with a friend, or even better, an experienced interviewer or a career coach.
Ask your test interviewer to watch for problems and give you feedback at the end of your conversation. It’s better to feel awkward in a low-risk test run than it is to fail an important interview.
BTW, if you expect to have video interviews, be sure to practice on that platform too.
5 Tips to Avoid Interview Body Language Fails
You can avoid fails by:
- Greeting your interviewer with eye contact and a pleasantly firm handshake (ask how you did).
- Sitting up straight and keeping your legs together.
- Maintaining eye contact throughout your interview (keep it comfortable, don’t stare).
- Checking your interviewers’ body language for insight on how they’re reacting to you.
- Adjusting your behavior based on how you think your interviewer feels.
With all those tips in mind, you might also enjoy this video on public speaking from SOAP:
Image: Fotolia/Bits and Splits
Updated May 2019
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Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by 100+ business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Time, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse.
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