Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Non Verbal Communication during Interviews

Your body language says a lot about you. How you present yourself during the interview is as important as the way you answer the questions. As soon as you enter the room, there will usually be a short exchange of interview etiquette (greeting & handshake) followed by an ice breaking query, which is designed to put you at ease but these initial moments are the most opinion forming. Your body language conveys all sorts of messages, and if you use the right body language, it will convey the image of a well-balanced and confident individual. You have to make a great first impression – you'll never get a second chance to do so. Here are some tips to keep in mind about your body language while preparing for an interview:

Walk in confidently with your shoulders straight and a pleasant, natural smile on your face.

Maintain the smile while performing a firm handshake along with the brief exchange of greeting.
Sit comfortably with a firm posture. Keep your hands folded in your lap or at your sides. Do not lean over the interviewer’s table or place your hands in your pocket.

Both feet should be on the floor in a slightly forward position and you should sit straight without being stiff. 

Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.

If there's more than one interviewer, look towards the one who is talking. While you answer, make sure to shift your glance from one interviewer to the other interviewers in turn to include them all.  

Use hand gestures only to emphasize certain points. Don't overdo the hand gestures or communicate without using hand gestures at all. Also, don't make very wide hand gestures. Remember, you’re in an interview and not giving a presentation to a large audience. The best way to avoid this is to imagine a small one foot square box in front of you and make your hand gestures within that box only.

Use active listening skills by nodding to show you're listening to the interviewer. 

Keep a confident and interested facial expression. Try not to appear nervous, apprehensive or disillusioned. 

Keep a check on too frequently repeated body movements, such as making the same kind of hand gestures all the time.

Negative body language gestures:

Here are some negative body language gestures which you should be aware of and completely avoid during your interview:

Crossed arms: you are revealing a defensive and reserved personality.
Crossed legs:  means you are very reserved and wary.    
Sitting with hands inside the pockets: means you’re not sure or feel suspicious.

Sitting in a chair shaking one of the legs:  you feel completely nervous and uncomfortable.

Eyes downcast or face turned down:  means you’re not interested or too shy and rather be out of the room. 

Leaning back in the chair with both hands clasped behind head: usually this signifies an analytical mood, but not to be used in interviews as it is also conveys a gesture of superiority.

Rubbing or touching your nose, cheek or ear when answering a question:  you’re sure hiding something or not telling the complete truth.

Rubbing the back of your head or the back of your neck: means you’re really uncomfortable with the interview and would like to get away as soon as possible.

Making palm-down gestures:  such signs are generally reserved for authority figures.

Making a thumb up or down gesture: This is an informal symbol of non verbal communication and to be avoided at interviews.
Steepling or clasping your hands: displays intellectual arrogance or superiority and should be avoided.
Folding your legs under your chair or sitting with crossed ankle: while the first one shows an introverted tendency, the second one displays arrogance.                                   

Nervous actions while answering questions: biting your lip or licking them is a sign of nervousness, and should be strictly avoided.

For more tips on body language during interviews, check out our uploaded video on YouTube.


  1. Very useful. Thanks for very timely posting - i have an interview next week.

  2. Needs practice - got my sister to watch as I practiced and she wasn't too helpful. I have improved my BL still

  3. Non-verbal more important than verbal