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Body language at interviews: everything you need to know

Everyone (including us!) will tell you to relax and be yourself ahead of an interview. It’s good advice but you need to find out the best way for you to put that advice into practice! 

How you hold and conduct yourself can give away subtle but important clues as to how you are feeling and how comfortable you are answering particular questions. That’s why your body language has a huge influence over how you’re viewed at an interview.
But don’t cloud your thinking with what you shouldn’t be doing – that will just make you more nervous! Instead, take a look at our advice on some of the best things to do to aid your awareness of posture, eye contact, your voice and your grooming. That way you’ll recognise what feels right and your confidence will soar on the day!

Posture

You want your posture to read as relaxed, comfortable and confident. When walking into the room stand with your shoulders back and stride with confidence.
When invited to sit down try not to slouch, instead sit up straight and allow your shoulders to drop naturally. Lean in when you answer a question; you will appear engaged, interested and comfortable.
Many of us fidget when we’re a little nervous. It’s perfectly natural but best to try and keep it under control. Calm, deliberate movements will not only look more assured and confident, they will also make you feel more relaxed too!

Eye contact

Eye contact is essential but there is a balance to be struck here. Too little will make you look nervous and reluctant, too much can seem intense and overbearing.
Maintain eye contact for the majority of the time but allow for natural breaks. Imagine you’re talking to a friend in a situation that you’re totally comfortable with. That way you’re eye contact patterns will be warm, natural and friendly.

Voice

Whether in person or on the telephone, using the right tone of voice when talking with your interviewer is an important way to indicate your character and confidence. It’s natural that nerves and pressure might make your speech speed up or your mouth go dry.
Just remember that, for your voice to sound confident you must feel confident. Take a deep breath, consider the question before answering and talk in a calm and measured way. And if your mouth does go dry? Don’t be afraid to ask for a glass of water!

Grooming

Much ink has been spilled on exactly what to wear to impress at an interview. But what is equally important – and can make or break a great outfit – is your personal grooming. That’s everything from hair to fingernails, makeup to perfume. It’s these little details that complete the picture and help you stand out.
A great checklist to consider when putting the finishing touches to your grooming is:

  • Hair – Make sure your hair is freshly washed and styled in a neat, conservative style.
  • Facial hair – If you don’t have facial hair make sure you are freshly shaved. If you have a beard or moustache, ensure they are trimmed.
  • Nails – clean and clipped. If you wear nail varnish opt for a neutral shade.
  • Teeth – freshly brushed. Make sure you discard any chewing gum before the interview.
  • Perfume – use sparingly and choose a light, fresh scent. Avoid anything too strong or powerful.

The most important thing to remember is not to focus on what you would consider ‘flaws’. If you focus on the negatives then you will cloud your thinking and stress yourself out.
Instead, keep some of the small tips in this blog in mind. That way you’ll be more inclined to focus on the positives things you can do, instead of what you shouldn’t. This will shine through naturally in your composure and your confidence with continue to grow.

Good luck and give it everything you’ve got!

Posted on by Roxanne Newson