Great Resumes Fast » Interviews » What Your Body Language Is Saying During the Interview

First impressions mean everything when job seeking.  Your resume makes the ultimate first impression since it introduces you and your skills to a prospective employer.  If your resume makes the impression you hoped for, then you’ll be called in for an interview where you’ll now need to make your first in-person impression.

What many job seekers don’t realize is that although providing the right answers is important, your tiny movements and gestures could say just as much about who you are during this crucial meeting.  Here are six ways that your body language could speak more than your words in an interview:

1. Cracking Body Parts

While cracking your knuckles or neck may be normal for you at home, out in public, this could be seen as a nervous tic at least, and at most, a rude gesture.  If it is a nervous tic, it’s good to ensure the interviewers don’t see you sweat by practicing the interview in the mirror while consciously avoiding the cracks.

2. Fiddling With Loose Items

Another nervous tic that some managers could find annoying is your tapping a pen on the table or pulling the cap off and on throughout the interview.  If you’re tempted to play with that paper clip or pull the staple out of nearby paper, practice before going to the interview so you don’t seem too nervous.

3. Folding Your Arms

Did you know that folding your arms sends the message that you’re closing yourself off from the person you’re speaking with?  Of course, this means you’re closing yourself off from the interviewer, which you don’t want.  So rather than folding your arms, consider clasping your hands, which is much more polite and open.

4. Leaning Back In Your Chair

If you’re accustomed to leaning back in your chair, it’s good to avoid this during your interview since it gives the impression that you’re either disinterested in the job or overly relaxed.  Sitting a bit forward in your chair instead shows that you’re alert and ready to answer any questions the interviewer may ask you.

5. Swerving In Your Chair

While some of the body language on this list constitutes nervousness, swerving in your chair could convey childishness.  Chairs that swerve are meant for convenience, which is why it’s rare for an adult to move around in them unless they’re spinning around to find an item.  In the interview, there’s no reason to swerve, so practice sitting still with your feet planted firmly on the floor instead.

6. Getting In the Interviewer’s Space

Make sure that you don’t invade the interviewer’s space by reaching across the desk or even touching outside of shaking hands.  If you do, you could come across as unprofessional or disrespectful, missing your chance at being hired.

Most of us have body language we’re not aware of, which is okay.  But during an interview, it’s important to become aware of those movements and what they communicate.

For additional tips and advice on resumes and cover letters, follow @GreatResume or visit our blog.


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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!

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