Bad Body Language That Will Kill an Interview

You’ve gotten an interview and you think you’ve done all of your homework. You’ve researched the company, you know what questions to ask, you’ve practiced your responses, you’ve dressed appropriately, and you’ve arrived on time.

Now comes the hard part. You’ve got to watch your body language!

Here are six interview killers to avoid when it comes to your body language…

1) Weak (or too strong) handshake

This is the easiest one to fix. If you practice it a few times, you’ll master it so well that it will become second nature to you. It’s really simple. Just use a firm, (not WWF firm, but not limp fish weak), handshake and pump two or three times. That’s all you need to start your interview on a positive note.

2)  Avoiding eye contact

If you do this, you are sending off a negative message which can be interpreted in one of two ways. The first message is that you lack respect for the interviewer. Worse than that, however, is that you might be sending a message that you lack focus. Who would want to hire someone who can’t focus long enough to look someone directly in the eye when speaking?

3) Folded arms

Another gesture which signals lack of respect. It also can signal to the interviewer that you have an arrogant, “I don’t care” attitude. And if you don’t care, why should he?

4) Slumped shoulders

Your mother was right. Sit up straight! If you slouch, you can give off the impression that you lack energy and/or confidence. If you’re too tired to sit up straight during the interview, how much energy will you have when you have to actually do some work?

5) Frowning or scowling

If you frown, grimace or scowl, you look unhappy.  It’s that simple. A genuine smile can make all the difference, because it not only signals happiness, but also, a legitimate interest in the person with whom you are speaking.

6) Fidgeting

Constantly shifting from one position to another, playing with your hair or, heaven forbid, biting your nails (or cleaning them) is a real interview killer. If fidgeting is a habit with you, break the habit before you go on an interview. Be aware of when you do those annoying little things, or ask someone close to point them out to you, so you can consciously stop them.

7) Peeking at your watch

This is a big no-no. Where do you have to be that is more important than where you are right now? If you are at an interview, and you sneak a peek at your watch or the clock on the wall behind your interviewer’s head, that’s probably what he is going to think about you. So unless you really have someplace more important to go, refrain from the quick glance and stay focused on the task at hand.

An interview is stressful enough with all that you have to remember. That’s why you should eliminate the simple things, so that you can concentrate on the big issues. All of the above bad body language interview killers can be overcome with a minimum of practice. So along with the researching of the company and the laying out of clean clothes the night before, complete your homework by role playing an interview so that you can go in with a firm handshake, straight posture and a pleasant smile on your face.