6 Worst Body Language Mistakes You Can Make in an Interview

8 years, 10 months ago - November 15, 2013
Many hiring managers know in the first 5 or 10 minutes if a candidate is going to continue in the process. Your body language says a lot about if you’re going to be the right fit. However much you hear that managers will hire because of your experience and education, team fit is a crucial component to determine from the interview process.

If you appear timid, scared, unhappy, overpowering, emotional, or rude, you will often get bounced from the process. Often, you don’t even know you’re sending these signals, it’s the nerves that cause it. These 6 body language mistakes should be avoided.

1. Crossing Your Arms

Crossing your arms shows a level of boredom or timidity during the interview. It pulls your shoulders down, making you look defeated. One time, during an interview I had, the interviewer, a VP at the company asked his first question, then crossed his arms and leaned all the way back in his chair until he was almost lying down. He stayed this way throughout the interview. I knew at this action that he didn’t want to be there and that I wouldn’t be getting the job.

2. Slouching

Slouching or leaning over in the chair sends the message that you’re disinterested in the job or lazy. This is worse than crossing your arms and could be perceived that you feel like you have a better place to be.

3. Frowning

Though this may seem like an obvious point, hiring managers are amazed at the number of candidates who frown during a tough stretch of an interview. When you’re nervous, your body shows your nerves in different ways. One awful way is by frowning at a difficult question or at the wrong time. A smile is inviting and will help an interviewer like you  - be conscious of how you react to certain questions.

4. Leaning Too Far Forward

Leaning in to a table isn’t always bad, sometimes it can be very effectively used to emphasize a point. However, leaning in shows aggression at times and you need to be careful how much you use it. If you spend too much of the interview leaned into the table, you may come off as overbearing.

5. Avoiding Eye Contact

It is said the eyes are the window to the soul. Making solid eye contact with the interviewer is a key to connecting with her. In group interviews, spread the love around the room by making eye contact with different people in the interview.

6. Too Intense

Intensity is not a bad thing when used in moderation. Once, I was performing a panel interview and the candidate was staring intently at people when answering questions. He didn’t blink. He pushed forward over the table, one time grabbing the hands of an interviewer to emphasize the point. It was uncomfortable. Though he was qualified on paper, his personality seemed too intense for our work environment.

Pull back the intensity, smile, look away when necessary.

Your body language has a tremendous impact on the hiring manager when you’re being interviewed. Avoid these 6 body language mistakes and get the job!


Text by Learn That

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