Project Confidence From the Start
In a job interview, you're being judged even before the discussion gets underway. When entering your interviewer's office, act as though you belong. Knocking gingerly first implies a lack of confidence, just when your body language should be conveying self-assurance. Instead, greet your interviewer with direct eye contact and a firm, sincere handshake.
Don't start talking immediately or dive into a chair. If you aren't invited to sit, choose a chair across from or beside the interviewer's desk. Avoid plush couches that can prevent you from rising easily.1 of 6
How Close is Too Close?
Like anyone, interviewers become uncomfortable if their personal space is invaded. Adjust where you sit based on your interviewer's seating arrangements. Sitting too far away makes you look afraid, but trying to seem "friendly" by getting right in your interviewer's face is likely to make them uncomfortable.
Project sincerity and confidence by leaning forward, maintaining eye contact and using expressive gestures. Leaning back and looking down may be interpreted as a lack of confidence, and interviewers are less likely to engage with someone who has a "closed" appearance.2 of 6
Speak Naturally, and Get to The Point
When trying to project good job interview body language, how you say something often is more important than what you say. Monitor your speaking voice to ensure you're conveying the right message. When in doubt, don't deviate from your regular speaking style.
Secure applicants have relaxed voices and are comfortable speaking directly. Conversely, insecure candidates can't control their voice pitch and volume. They sound hesitant, clear their throats, use "uhs" and "ums" excessively, or use over-complex sentences and have trouble getting to the point.3 of 6
Maintain Eye Contact and Don't Be "Wooden"
Relaxed, confident people alter their facial expressions to match what they’re saying, and maintain good eye contact to help signify openness and honesty. Less-assured candidates, on the other hand, don't maintain eye contact and tend to be very rigid, which can make them appear shy or even untrustworthy.
Don't overdo eye contact with interviewers, however. A gaze that lasts longer than seven to 10 seconds can cause discomfort. You may be trying to connect, but it only increases the tension.4 of 6
Monitor Your Posture and Gestures
Even when you're trying to remain motionless, your posture gives important body language signals. Confident applicants have relaxed, balanced postures. They hold their bodies upright and take determined strides. Less-assured candidates have rigid or stooped postures.
Strive for posture that's as free and natural as your speaking style, but don't be too controlled or rehearsed, says Ms. Hirsch. When your movements are in sync with your words, your job interview body language will appear confident and controlled.5 of 6
Pick Up On Your Interviewer's Body Language, Too
Hiring managers also use gestures to convey specific messages during a job interview. Nodding signifies approval, while leaning forward shows they're interested. Thumb twiddling, finger drumming or other fidgeting means they aren't paying attention.
One caveat: Don't imagine a hidden meaning in every gesture. If an interviewer rubs their nose, they may just have an itch. Try to gauge the situation – a group of gestures may be significant, but random ones aren't likely to have any real meaning.6 of 6