If you’ve ever looked for a job, you know that every interviewer has a different style.  Different questions, different tones, different approaches.  But in the hundreds of interviews I’ve been a part of, and having sat alongside of many interviewers, there is a common thread that affects how all interviewers feel about candidates.

That is the candidate’s body language.

Many job seekers don’t think about their body language when they interview.  Interviews can be nerve-wracking so your mind is focused on answering the questions.  However, failing to send the right signals, or unintentionally sending the wrong signals, through body language can be a show stopper.

I know many people who study the body language of the people with whom they converse.  And for those people, when they interview someone, they take serious note of the candidate’s body language.  So if you’re sending off the wrong body language signals to that type of an interviewer, your chances of getting the job are slim to none.

Don’t get me wrong, not every interviewer consciously notices body language.  But, at a minimum, every interviewer notices it subconsciously and it affects their perception of candidates.

Here are some basic tips:

Don’t

  • Cross your arms (makes you seem closed off)
  • Lean back or slouch (makes you appear uninterested)
  • Put your hands above your head (makes you appear cocky or over confident)

Do

  • Lean forward and act interested
  • Smile and use facial expressions (raised eyebrows, etc) to display your enthusiasm for the role
  • Emulate the body language of the interviewer (if that person is displaying good body language; if the interviewer isn’t, then don’t emulate them)

This might not sound like rocket science, but it’s amazing how many candidates fail to get this right.  Trust me, it really affects the impression you make.

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