Non-Verbal Communication During Your Job Interview


No Slouching!

It’s about demonstrating confidence – standing straight, making eye contact, and connecting with a good, firm handshake. That first impression can be a great beginning, or a quick ending to your interview.

Lack of body movement?

Once the interview begins you should be relaxed, use your hands in talking – most people do. Do not overdo anything! Small gestures with your hands are fine but when you start waving your arms around you are out-of-bounds and could strike out.

The worst posture is to fold your arms across your chest. This is a hostile posture – very closed and uncomfortable.

Often times, women fold their arms because they are cold. Wear a sweater or jacket to the interview – but don’t fold your arms over your chest.

Contact – The Hand Shake

The first contact you will have with the interviewer is the handshake. It’s often looked at as a telling gesture to judge the confidence of a person.

The interviewer extends his hand and you in turn extend your hand. If your hand is sweaty it will give an unpleasant feeling to the interchange.

Your Image – How do you look?

You are judged by how you look!

Whether we like it or not – your general appearance – how you look – does set the first impression for the rest of the interview.

This is going to take some research on your part. You can call the HR Department or even the Receptionist to ask about the company dress code. If the answer is “Casual,” you should think one level above to “Business Casual.” A good rule to follow is: “Dress One Level Above the Company Culture.”

Something else to take into consideration is the position that you are seeking. The goal is to look like someone who will fit in, but someone who could also represent the company to people outside the company.

Your Eye Contact

True – or – False?

You should never look directly into the interviewer’s eyes because this may make him or her feel uncomfortable.

This is definitely FALSE.

When you talk to someone and your eyes are looking in another direction, the person feels as though you are not talking to them directly. If you don’t look directly into the eyes of the interviewer it can be judged as a lack of confidence.

It may feel very uncomfortable for you to look directly into someone’s eyes but you need to look at the person while you talk. This doesn’t mean staring, but looking directly at the person you are addressing.

Here is a tip that is taken from people on tv who use “teleprompters.” They are looking at the teleprompter and reading their lines, but it appears as though they are looking straight at the camera.

Smells – Good and Bad

It is important not to smell – Good or Bad – during the interview!

Smelling bad – breath or body odor – could be disastrous! Most people know that. But did you know that it could be equally disastrous to smell too good?

Perfumes and colognes are annoying offenders to someone who cannot tolerate scents. Allergies or personal memories or preferences about scents can come into play during the interview and can be very distracting.

Ears – for listening

You’ve been missing a major point if you thought job interviewing was just about answering questions. You’ve also been missing a huge opportunity to gather valuable information. Listening is one of the most underutilized skills by candidates. The majority of people go into the interview thinking and worrying about how they will answer the interviewer’s questions. They forget that they are there to also find out about the job and the company and whether this is the right place for them.

The bonus of listening is that you impress the interviewer by the fact that you have heard what was said, and sometimes what was not said. The best questions you can ask come as a result of listening. Turn up your listening and intuitive skills. Read between the lines!

Demeanor – Confidence

One of the most important factors a candidate can bring to the interview is self-confidence.

You will make an immediate good first impression when you stand tall and look the interviewer in the eye while you give a firm handshake.

In today’s competitive job market it is worth taking some time to think about the impression you are making. Will you stand out from the competition with your confidence and demeanor? If not – take the time to make some changes.

Carole Martin, The Interview Coach has specialized in the subject of “Interviewing” for the past 15 years and has coached and interviewed thousands of job seekers to successfully get the job. Pick up her Interview Questions and Answers Guide and stop by The Interview Coach to Ask for a FREE Interview Analysis for more personalized interview coaching.


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes.

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