Body Language During a Job Interview

Instructor: Adam Nystrom

Adam owns a Master's degree in Professional and Digital Media Writing. During his time as a graduate assistant, he developed lesson plans for upper-level English courses.

Knowing what to say in an interview is certainly important, and so is using proper body language. In this article you'll find some tips regarding eye contact, handshakes and more. Remember, you only get one shot at making a good first impression!

Eye Contact

There is, in fact, such a thing as too much of this. While making eye contact makes you look attentive, too much at one time may appear overly assertive or just plain odd. You can take a few moments to look your interviewer in the eyes, and as you make your transition into another thought, shift your focus to the left or right of your interviewer while you continue to build your case as the best choice for the job.

Posture

You should avoid leaning back in your seat. This could give the impression that you are far too relaxed and don't take the interview very seriously, while leaning too far forward can seem invasive. Focus on sitting upright, which will help you exude confidence in front of your interviewer.

Handshakes

You've probably heard that a firm grip is best for a handshake, which is correct. However, you don't want to make it seem like you're attempting to crush your potential boss's hand. Try practicing with a friend or family member to get a feel for an appropriate grip beforehand.

Hand Gestures

When talking with your hands, it's a good idea to not let them go above your collarbone so that your gestures don't seem over-the-top. When not using your hands to talk, you can just place them on your knees. This will help you avoid crossing your arms, which is not recommended during interviews.

Foot Placement

When being interviewed, it's best to have both of your feet on the floor. Having your legs crossed could potentially make you seem complacent. Also, with your feet on the floor, your hands will be even when they're resting on your knees.

How Else Can I Prepare for the Interview?

Study.com's mobile-friendly How to Prepare for a Job Interview course is exactly what you need to ace your upcoming interview and land the position. This course's chapters include engaging video lessons that individually only require about eight minutes of your time. Each lesson is accompanied by a quiz to make sure you fully grasp the information covered. Additional self-assessments include chapter exams and a final course exam.

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