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Interview body language: Do's and Don'ts

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One of the most useful bits of career advice is to be aware of the importance of body language in an interview, that way you'll know how to conduct yourself and how to use body language to make a good first impression. Your body language can have a significant impact when it comes to how you portray yourself and how you are seen in an interview.

Here we will look at some body language dos and don’ts. Follow these and you should have no problem being successful in your interview.

Body language: Do's

Eye contact

The most vital component of body language and best practice in interview technique is to maintain a good level of eye contact. Maintaining eye contact conveys not only confidence but that you’re taking in everything the interviewer is saying as well.

Posture

Have a good upright posture by sitting up straight with your back against the chair but avoid being too stiff. Keep your legs as still and straight as possible. 

Mirroring

Mirroring the positive body language of the interviewer is a clever way to make a connection between the two of you. Sometimes mirroring body language of others can happen unintentionally and instinctively, but if you are trying to carry out the same actions, make sure you don’t overdo it.

Smile

Smile and laugh where appropriate as it’s nice to show your personality at interview. A smile can go a long way at interview and show that you are friendly and relaxed. You will make yourself more likeable by being an enthusiastic interviewee.

Firm handshake

A good handshake is a big part of making a good first impression and is the key to a successful interview. By having a firm handshake you can convince people that you are confident and have good social skills.

Open arms

Using your arms and hands to communicate with your palms up and arms away from your body. An open posture demonstrates confidence, trustworthiness and friendliness. Open body language shows you are not hiding anything, but don’t go overboard.

Lean 

To show you are genuinely interested, lean in slightly when the interviewer is making important or relevant points. This illustrates that you are paying attention and are interested in what is being said.

Body Language: Don’ts

Touch your face

Touching your face or playing with your hair can be highly distracting for the interviewer. Touching your nose or playing with your ear can also give the impression you are lying. Try not to fidget or bring any bad habits to your interview.

Slouch

Lounging in the chair can demonstrate an uninterested and possibly lazy candidate. You may be looking a little too relaxed. Keep your posture perfect!

Be over confident

Try not to be overconfident as the interviewer will see you as being arrogant. This can be off-putting to your potential employer. Try and find a balance between being confident and overconfident.

Fidget

This can be a sign that you’re bored or restless in your interview. Do not fold your arms as you could appear unfriendly and disengaged.

Stare

Whilst it's good to maintain eye contact with the interviewer, try not to stare. If you stare, this may make the interviewer feel uncomfortable. If you stare blankly at them, this may look like you're uninterested and trying to distance yourself.

Above all, if you're really keen on the job you will not struggle to come across as genuinely interested. Maintain an interested expression and keep your attention on the interviewer. Never forget that 90% of communication is through body language so follow these steps to build a rapport and get that job.

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