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
© 2014 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, Smart Brief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.