Ace The Interview: Essential Body Language Tips You Should Know

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Apr. 22 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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We speak volumes before we say a word. As you spend time perfecting your resume and choosing your job interview outfit, another important factor to consider is your body language. Follow these body language tips in your interview and let your interviewers see how you’re confident, capable, and the right candidate for the job.

What Are Nonverbal Cues?

How you react, listen, and look tells a person how well you’re listening, whether you’re being truthful, and even whether you care. According to Brittanica, conveying the right body language in an interview can help you overcome your nervousness and prove that you’re the best fit for the role.

5 Key Body Language Tips For A Great Interview

1. Firm handshake: When you greet your interviewer, make sure to offer a firm handshake. Aim for a grip that’s not too tight and not too loose. A firm handshake lets someone know you’re confident but approachable. You’re not trying to dominate, but you have something to offer. When done well, it can help you build trust and rapport.

2. Eye contact: The simple act of looking someone in the eye sends the message that you’re interested and paying attention. It can also convey empathy and a willingness to see things from the other person’s perspective. People might also perceive you as honest and intelligent. Take eye contact breaks every now and then so you don’t end up staring.

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3. Posture: Whether walking or sitting, you exude self-assurance and poise when you straighten your spine where possible. Push your shoulders back, and imagine a string pulling you up from the top of your head. A tall demeanor shows that you’re engaged and is often perceived as exhibiting professionalism.

4. Smile: Per the University of West Alabama, a warm smile shows your interviewer that you’re friendly or accessible and can simultaneously put yourself at ease. When genuine, a smile indicates that you’re optimistic. A smile can also be a social connector, reassuring people or implying that you have good intentions. 

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5. Gesture: When people are nervous, they sometimes fidget with their hands or lock their hands so they don’t move. Gesturing is natural and shows that you’re at ease. Remember, where you’d typically gesture, make sure to let yourself move. Stay aware so that you’re not over-gesturing, but overall, adding a bit of movement during your interview helps you appear relaxed and at ease.

Bonus tip: Make sure you’re breathing deeply. Taking measured breaths will help you loosen up, even out your voice, and stay present in the interview.

Whether you get the job or not, you can be proud that you showed up with conviction. Make sure to brush up on these body language tips before your interview if you think there’s an area that you can improve. Find a friend to do a mock interview with or rehearse in front of your mirror. Keep in mind that your body language may not be the only reason you don’t get the job

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By: Wanda Duncan

Wanda Duncan is a multipotentialite entrepreneur and travel and wellness writer. She’s slow traveled since 2010 through Europe, Southeast Asia, and parts of Africa and Central America. Find her work in Fodor’s Travel, HerAgenda, and WeTravel. Wanda is the founder of Black Women Travel and won the Women in Travel Summit 2023 Bessie Awards Social Impact Award and was nominated for the 2021 Trailblazer Award. Connect with Wanda through her website

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