6 Common Body Language Mistakes Made by Candidates in Job Interview

Body language is one of the key points of observations by the potential employers in their job seekers. We very often tend to underrate the importance and the significance of body language in an interview and the role it plays in landing you that job or becoming a deal breaker. We may feel that who really notices things, but rest assured employers don’t miss a thing, they are smarter than you are, because what they do and see is their daily job, and they even get paid for it.

Negative Body Language and You

Often it has been found that employers keep a special panel member only to study the body language of the interviewing candidate. This is one key area where one can score brownie points apart from one’s own talent and skills, however, it is also one area which can become a deal breaker if things go haywire. And among all mistakes, there are some most common body language mistakes that a large number of job seekers tend to make, like –

For your eyes only

Make eye contact

You don’t have to stare, and you don’t have to shy away, nor do you have to look away like you are lying. The right amount of eye contact with the people you are talking to is essential to convey a feeling of honesty, truthfulness as well as positivity. A little smile on the lips could complement your eyes. They both go together, hand – in – hand.

Related reading: 10 Negative Body Language Mistakes That Are Signs of Unproductiveness


Poor body movements

Make eye contact

Some people have a very dominating hand shake while some have one like a dead fish. And, both of them are dangerous and undesirable. A proper, good hand shake should be firm and confident, without turning the other person’s hand in any direction in any way. Keep your hands in a nice sleek steeple. Don’t fidget around or play with your hair or the straps of your bag, or the pages of your file or a pen or anything at all. Stay steady and focus. Don’t appear distracted. Don’t lean back too much, don’t lean forward too much, just sit straight and upright and calm and relaxed. Do nothing awkward.

Use your hands

explain properly

Hand gestures come normally to some, while to some they don’t. Irrespective of that, it is important to use hand gestures. They reinforce your words to your audience. However, don’t overdo it either. You don’t want to convey depressiveness or nervousness. Just be yourself and go with the flow. Don’t fold your hands at any point of time during the interview, it is regarded as a seriously defensive and closed gesture. Just hold your hands in a confident steeple, don’t make them into a fist, don’t squeeze them, don’t snap.

Your head is where the heart is

fake and unreal

Nodding is a good thing to do, shows interest, enthusiasm and understanding. However, if you continuously keep nodding it is taken as fake and unreal. So nod only when you need to, or when you are in absolute agreement or in complete understanding, not all the time at a fixed pace. Moreover, don’t bend your head in any direction, keep it straight. Bending it either way is negative too.

Talk confidently

talking confidently

When you talk confidently, even when you don’t know the answer to the question asked, you give out an aura and generate some positive vibes that affect the interviewers too. Your confidence will exude not only through your actions but also through your eyes, your gestures and your body language. Don’t appear distracted at any point of time, even if there is a T-rex running wild on the street outside the window and crushing down your car. Your sole focus should be on the interview and the people in front of you. With this, a lot of other negative body language will automatically get eliminated.

Happy feet

Be happy

This is one of the most neglected parts of the body any which ways, and during nervous and serious situations like an interview, job seekers tend to ignore them the most. So many job seekers sit with feet stretched out, end up hitting the interviewer’s foot, or keep shaking their feet non-stop which gives an appearance that the job seekers is sitting on some vibrating massager or may be is in the middle of an earthquake, and all of this is considered nasty and is a big no-no. Keep your feet together and close to your body, wear good comfortable shoes and sit in a normal posture like you would in the middle of a big meeting.

When it comes to body language, always remember you are being watched, every minute, every movement. When in doubt, just put yourself on the other side of the table and think how it would feel to do what you are about to do, and based on that decide what is right and what is not. Be your own best judge and make the right decisions. Body language is a language of silence that speaks a thousand words!

Image Courtesy: Photl and all GIF images are taken from giphy

Posted In: Adult Education, Career Advice, Employee and Workplace, HR Tips, Interview Tips, Tips for Jobseeker

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  • Amber Copeland

    It’s not so much what body parts you move and how you move them, but rather about the quality with which movements are performed. For example, a cold stare is usually accompanied by a hyper-toned muscular state (due to anxiety), which affects the body as a whole. The result is a rigid, erect torso and awkward limb movement. The interviewer senses this quality and reads it as dominating. Naturally, it is off putting for the interviewer as it affects boss-employee power relationship, whereby the boss is more dominant. By relaxing the chest and flexing the spine slightly, the face and eyes will automatically soften as well. Eye contact can be comfortably maintained with the interviewer, as it will be less intense and dominating. The boss-employee power balance will be intact and the interviewer will be more open to creating a relationship with the candidate and feel more at ease bringing them onto the team.

    Amber Copeland, CMA, SME
    Movement Analyst, Educator and Facilitator

  • Omg…. without even realising i have done most of mistakes out of your article .Thanks for your great share probably it will be helpful for my new interview thanks for sharing this.