I’ve touched on the importance of body language in the past (5 Simple Tips for Better Interviews) and want to expand on these thoughts in today’s post.

According to a recent survey of 2,500 hiring managers, poor body language can significantly impact your chances of being successful in an interview situation, so getting this right will increase your opportunity to be successful in finding your dream job.

Eight body language concerns were raised by the hiring managers in this survey.  Thankfully they are all easily solved if you are aware of them.

Little or no eye contact.  This was the biggest issue, with 67% of managers stating that candidates who failed to make eye contact during the interview would be less likely to be successful.  The reality is that poor eye contact when answering questions gives the impression of a lack of confidence or even dishonesty, two things that you don’t want to be putting in the mind of potential employers.

Lack of a smile.  People want to work with positive people and the best way to demonstrate that you are positive is with a smile.  I know that interviews can be nervous experiences and the stress can make it difficult to be yourself, but taking yourself too seriously can negatively impact the impression that you want to give.

Excessive fidgeting.  Fidgeting can have multiple negative side effects.  It can be distracting to your answers, it can really annoy the interviewers and it can give the impression that you aren’t being truthful with your responses.  Some people find it helpful to take a pen or something similar in with them to hold on to during interviews.  If you’re just going to play with it and distract from your answers, I wouldn’t recommend this. 

Poor posture.  There are too kinds of posture that I would be guarding against.  Slouching in your chair can give the impression that you don’t care enough whilst sitting too straight and formally can give the impression that you are too serious and tense.  Try to sit up nice and straight, with your shoulders relaxed and square to your audience. 

Weak handshake.  This is a big turn off when trying to create a positive first impression.  You only get one shot at this, so make sure that your handshake is firm, without squeezing the other person too tightly. 

Closed body language.  Crossing your arms will often give the wrong impression in an interview situation, so make sure that you remain open so that your interviewers don’t think that you’re defensive or have something to hide.

Playing with your hair or touching the face.  Playing with your hair (not a problem for me) can be an obvious sign of anxiety and nerves, so keeping away from that will increase the impression of confidence that you’re wanting to give.  The problem with touching the face is that many people do this when lying, so doing this during an interview could be a big mistake.

Distracting hand gestures.  It’s great to be enthusiastic in an interview, but when your arms move independently of the rest of your body it’s time to rein them in.  Measured gestures can greatly assist in delivering a confident, congruent message, but waving your arms around like a windmill can be distracting.

Hopefully these 8 simple tips will assist you the next time you’re in an interview.

Are you guilty of any of these yourself?

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