After getting through the CV and Cover Letter stage you’ve now got many things to contemplate in preparation for your interview. Make sure Body Language in the interview is top of your list.

You may not know it, but you will instantly be sending out signals from the moment you meet the interviewers and Hiring Manager, so it’s essential you keep your body language in mind!

The following tips will help to make your interview performance more effective.

Arrive early and relax as much as you can in advance of the interview. Make sure you get your entrance right – when introduced to the interviewer greet them with a firm handshake. Ensure to be aware of your facial expressions, posture and timing right from the off. This is vital to start the interview positively. Use the first 90 seconds to impress – needless to say – dress appropriately!

When offered a chair at the interview, never lean back into the chair. Sit up comfortably so you look alert and attentive. Don’t invade the interviewer’s personal space, relax into your seat, smile and sit comfortably. If you have brought anything to the interview don’t put it up on the table or on your knees, this can be distracting. Try not to touch your face or hair in the interview, this is a clear sign of being nervous and unsure. This doesn’t mean hide your hands though, it’s quite positive to use gestures, it’s expressive of your personality, but don’t go over the top. In preparation for your interview practice entering a room, putting your belongings down and practicing your introduction.

Eye contact is another very important feature of body language. Keep it natural, don’t over exaggerate. Maintaining good eye contact can show your honesty and openness. People who fail to do this tend to look in all different directions, not facing their interviewer, this is a bad mistake to make. Be sure not to let your eye contact linger into a stare, that’s uncomfortable.

Just like you, the interviewer will be sending out messages to you through body language, keep an eye out for this. Start to notice where you may take advantage of such movements. Nodding is a good sign to receive, as is leaning forward, you’ve now caught their attention and their interest. An interviewer folding their arms and fidgeting could mean that they are not getting the desired answer. Take a short pause, focus, possibly ask for clarification on the question and sell yourself again.

Be aware your body language does not stop giving messages once the interview is concluded, you must be aware of your actions until you’ve left the building.

So most importantly, be yourself! There’s no point over exaggerating in an interview. If you are speaking the truth and how you really feel, your body language will naturally back this up. Interviewers are interested in who you really are, not a false pretence.

The jobseekers section on our website offers further tips and videos on how to prepare for an interview, check it here:

Niall Murray

Managing Director

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services