Actions Speak Louder Than Words; Body Language during an Interview

Your mind is racing...your feet are tapping…your hands are sweating…you must be in a job interview. Most people are just worried about getting the right words out of their mouths.  But when nerves get the best of you, it’s easy to forget what your non-verbal signs are saying to an employer.

Whether it’s fixing your hair, breaking eye contact, or fidgeting around in your chair, these nervous ticks are very noticeable to employers. Read through these common mistakes, and learn how you can prevent them from happening in your next interview:

Poor Posture                             

Slouching back in your seat, or leaning too far forward towards the interviewer.

Bad posture shows that you are either too relaxed, or giving off an aggressive vibe. You want to appear comfortable, and also give the interviewer plenty of space. Appear calm and collected by sitting up straight in your chair. Showing good posture gives off a confident and credible vibe to employers.  

Fidgety Fingers

Constant tapping, twiddling, and moving your hands while speaking.

Fidgeting with your fingers is a common gesture that most people are completely oblivious to until they are told that they behave that way. This movement shows extreme nervousness and can take away from what you are saying in an interview. A good way to solve this is by holding a small paper clip in your hands during an interview. By holding the paper clip, your hand movements will be kept to a minimum and hardly noticeable by an employer.

Grooming Gestures

Fixing hair, fingernails, or jewelry during the interview.

…You look fine. This nervous habit is common in interviews when applicants are in a desperate state to look professional. I find myself tucking my hair behind my ears when trying to come up with an appropriate answer. Since these actions are typically subconscious, avoid the situation by pulling your hair back and wearing minimal jewelry items during an interview.

Harsh Hand Gestures

Chopping or pointing your fingers harshly when making a point.

Karate chopping and pointing your hands during an interview is aggressive and sometimes seen as rude during an interview. Keep all hand gestures calm and slow to reflect positive personality characteristics. Giving emphasis to your words can be done through head nods and facial expressions that are less forceful.