How to nail your body language in an interview!

Man wearing tie preparing for interview

So you have managed to get this far in the recruitment process, congratulations! Now it’s time to nail the all-important interview and this is where our handy body language tips will come in very useful. 

In an interview, first impressions and how you carry yourself mean everything! Even if you manage to answer all the questions well and are perfect for the role, bad body language like slumping in your seat and lack of eye contact could ruin your chances of getting the job offer. 

Read on to find out our 7 handy tips on how to nail your body language in an interview…

  1. A firm handshake– In most instances a handshake will initiate your interview and give your interviewer a first impression of you. Make sure to have your handshake nailed down before going to your interview, it must be firm but not overpowering. An overly firm handshake indicates dominance (not how you want to come across in an interview) and a weak, flimsy handshake indicates nerves and unprofessionalism (also not how you want to come across in an interview!).
  2. Eye contact– Eye contact is so important in an interview, in most cases a lack of eye contact not only indicates nerves and untrustworthiness but also comes across as extremely impolite. You mustn’t feel like you can’t blink, but make sure you make plenty of eye contact during the interview. A good tip is: switch from eye to eye, nose, mouth etc. Think of it more as ‘face contact’. This will avoid any awkward staring.
  3. Sit up straight in your chair- Avoid slumping and slouching in your chair as this will come across as lazy and unprofessional. Make sure your shoulders are back and your feet are firmly on the ground. Not only will sitting up straight give the interviewer the impression you feel confident, but it will also help to slow your breathing, calming any nerves!
  4. Nod along to the interviewer- Make sure you don’t over use this, but nodding along signals to the interviewer that you are interested, engaged and paying close attention. A good time to nod is when something particularly important or complex is being explained to you.
  5. Avoid letting nervous habits come through- Habits like leg shaking, playing with your hair, rubbing hands together are clear ways to indicate that you feel nervous (even if you don’t!). Try to come up with subtle ways to avoid your nervous habits, for example, planting your feet firmly on the ground, tying your hair up, placing your hands on your lap etc.
  6. Hand gestures– Be mindful of your hand gestures and what they suggest about you. Palms upwards suggest trustworthy and honesty, whereas palms down/close fists suggest the opposite.
  7. Facial expressions- Smile and be friendly!

Final point: Remember if in doubt, a good tip is to mirror your interviewer. You can mirror their body language, hand gestures even mirror their vocabulary and tone of voice. People trust those who are similar to themselves, so by mirroring your interviewer you will make them feel at ease and give a great first impression.

Good luck! 

How to nail your body language in an interview, written by Andrea McWilliam.

Our Team Andrea McWilliam Manchester General Manager