By Clay Wyatt
Posted on 03/18/2016
Consider a situation in which you’re in a job interview with your prospective manager. He barely shakes your hand and never smiles. He crosses his arms during much of the interview and rolls his eyes after one of your responses. The interview ends with him answering his phone and motioning for you to leave. Would you still be interested in this job?
If the above interviewer decided to call you in for another interview or extend an offer, you’d probably hesitate before moving forward. Even if you were otherwise interested in the job, the manager’s body language probably would have left you with a negative impression. Similarly, your body language might mean the difference between receiving an offer or a two-line rejection email.
Fortunately, you can improve your odds of getting a job by properly managing your body language. Here are eight body language tips for your next job interview.
1. Offer a Firm Handshake
Offer a firm handshake to express confidence, but match the interviewer’s strength. So if you end up lifting the interviewer off his feet because your handshake is so strong, it’s probably time to adjust it!
2. Face the Interviewer
Forbes advises sitting with your shoulders squared and toes aimed toward anyone you’re speaking with at work. This advice should also be helpful during a job interview. Doing so demonstrates attentiveness and openness.
3. Keep Your Arms Uncrossed
Crossed arms demonstrate resistance, which isn’t the best way to convince an interviewer to hire you. As such, keep them uncrossed during your next job interview.
4. Keep Your Hands Open
According to Louisiana Tech University, keeping your hands open with your palms facing up expresses honesty and receptiveness. Meanwhile, it notes that keeping your hands closed with your palms facing down indicates that you’re unreceptive. As the former will probably help you a lot more than the latter, be sure to keep your hands open during the interview.
5. Smile and Nod
Smile and nod as the interviewer speaks without overdoing it. In other words, it’s not a good idea to sit with a blank stare as the interviewer describes the position. At the same time, it may be counterproductive to sit with a huge smile on your face as the interviewer explains the challenges that his company is facing, so be sure to do so when it seems appropriate.
6. Don’t Watch the Clock
While you probably wouldn’t just stare at the clock, be sure not to check it frequently. Watching the clock suggests that you don’t want to be there. That’s not the best way to convince the employer that you’re excited about the opportunity and the interview may end quicker than you hoped.
7. Don’t Bite Your Nails
Biting your nails suggests that you’re nervous. While the hiring manager will probably understand this, it won’t help you get the job.
8. Make Eye Contact
Eye contact demonstrates interest, among other things. As the employer probably wants its next employee to be interested in the job, this should work in your favor.