5 Body Language Mistakes to Avoid at Your Next Interview

By | May 21, 2016

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You’ve carefully rehearsed your answers to the questions about your greatest weakness and where you see yourself in five years. You’ve picked out the perfect suit and gotten a haircut. You feel like you have done everything you possibly can to ensure that this job interview goes well – but have you given any consideration to your body language?

According to a survey performed by CareerBuilder.com in which they surveyed 2,500 hiring managers, poor body language during an interview can cost even the most qualified candidate the job. In fact, fifty percent of hiring managers decide whether a candidate is the right person for the job within the first five minutes of the interview.

To make sure that you make a good first impression, avoid making these five body language mistakes that could potentially cost you the job.

Not Making Eye Contact

Sometimes when a person is shy or nervous, they are tempted to direct their stare slightly over the interviewer’s head or look down at their lap because looking directly at the interviewer can feel intimidating. This is a big mistake. Making direct eye contact with your interviewer shows that you are engaged and interested in the conversation.

Not Smiling

Smiling during an interview gives the perception of you as someone who is warm and friendly. This can lead to the interviewer deciding that you are someone who will be a team player and nice to work with.

Slouching

Slouching in your seat during an interview can give off a vibe that you are sloppy or don’t care about the interview. It also can be perceived as disrespectful to the interviewer. Plus, sitting up straight with squared shoulders makes you look more confident and engaged.

Fidgeting

Fidgeting during an interview can be distracting to the interviewer and can also be seen as being disrespectful. Many people fidget when they are nervous without realizing that they are doing it. If you are worried about fidgeting during an interview, try doing a mock interview with a friend and having her point out any fidgeting you may be doing. You can also video tape yourself answering mock interview questions and see for yourself how much you fidget.

Crossing Your Arms

Crossing your arms in front of your chest can make you appear defensive and closed off. Interviewers want to hire people who are open and easily approachable, so make it a point to sit up straight with your hands resting loosely in your lap.