Body Language – 4 Tips to Help You Land a Job

You’ve probably heard that first impressions count, but have you ever thought about how body language affects how people perceive you? Of course clothing, grooming, and the way you speak says a lot about who you are as a person, but body language says what you may not verbally.

Body language is extremely critical in first meetings and job interviews. How you carry yourself in a job interview says a lot about what image you will cast in the workplace. Think about it – you wouldn’t continue talking to someone who was slouched down in their chair with their arms crossed would you? This image sends the message that you’re uninterested or unfriendly.

To help you control your body language in job interviews, try these tips below.

Don’t slouch. Having poor posture is not only bad for your body, but it’s bad for your interviews. It gives the impression that you are lazy, uninterested and bored. Make sure you sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed. This will show that you are alert, attentive, and involved in the conversation taking place.

Make eye contact. Wandering eyes distract interviewers. If they’re trying to speak to you and your eyes are darting around the room, it looks like you aren’t paying attention. When you listen to someone, make sure you keep eye contact with them but avoid doing it aggressively by staring them down. Demonstrate your attentiveness by nodding your head to show you’re listening. If you glance down while jotting notes, make sure to reconnect by looking up often. When you are speaking, continue to make eye contact, but don’t stare. Let your eyes move around some to show your thought process, or look at other people who might be in the room. Making eye contact helps you gain trust while letting others know you are engaged in the conversation.

Don’t fidget. It’s important to control your nervous habits such as toe-tapping, fidgeting, finger-tapping, or wiggling. These are obvious signs of nervousness but they’re also very distracting. Also, you want to exhibit signs of confidence. Interviewers understand that potential employees may be nervous during interviews, but they also want to know that you can pull it together. To help calm your nerves, try taking a few deep breaths before you go in to your interview or even if you’re already in the room.

Sit properly. Along with great posture, make sure you’re sitting correctly. It’s good to sit up straight with your legs or ankles crossed or with both feet planted on the floor with legs together. This will work for both men and women. However, men who cross their legs should make sure their legs aren’t crossed to openly with their ankle on the knee. This is too informal. Your arms should be placed in your lap or on the table with your fingers intertwined. If you’re not used to sitting this way, practice in the mirror so it becomes second nature to you in the interview process.

Remember, your words aren’t the only thing speaking for you in an interview. Your body language speaks a thousand words and sometimes says what you don’t mean to say. So, try these tips the next time you’re in an interview and see the difference it makes. You’ll feel more confident and project your professionalism.


  1. Laurie

    Four great tips. I really like how you finished by suggesting to practice using a mirror; it’s important that we see what other see and this is the best way to do it (video taping is also really good).
    I’d like to add a fifth tip, if I may: smile, especially during the introduction. It shows confidence and creates a friendly rapport.

  2. Jennifer

    That is a great tip. Video taping yourself and then watching it back will provide great insight are how you will conduct yourself in the interview, and it will help you pinpoint those nervous habits you might not be aware of. Thanks for reading and passing on such a great idea!

  3. Roxanne

    These tips work both ways! I went to my first face-to-face interview with a CEO, following one agency screening and three phone interviews, only to find this man sitting across from me with arms crossed and held tightly to his chest. Something about this stayed with me: what did he need to keep out or IN? Even though I was offered this position, I ultimately declined, because the CEO’s folded arms were keeping something in: his several versions of his terms of employment– including bonus structure and employee policies–not to mention his penchant for gossip about his former and current employees. Remember: you are interviewing the prospective employer, just as they are interviewing you!

  4. rosejenifar

    Body language is an important part of communication which can constitute 50% or more of what we are communicating.If you wish to communicate well,then it makes sense to understand how you can (and cannot) use your body to say what you mean.The subtle lexicon of body language can teach you a lot about yourself and people around you.

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