Six Tips for a Better Interview


Recent studies have shown that employers will form an opinion of you within the first 10 minutes of the interview. But here’s the kicker, it’s not always based on what you actually say, but it’s on something we term “body language”. For instance, 85% of what you communicate is not with words. It’s through the tone of your voice, the way you sit and a wealth of other messages that your body involuntarily sends.

With this in mind, here are six do’s and don’ts on the art of non-verbal communication to give you a winning advantage in a job interview.

1.) Be Real From the Start: When you greet your interviewer, smile a real smile that engages your eyes, and offer a firm handshake. Say something like, “I’m pleased to meet you” to provide a positive anchor.

2.) Watch the Excess Energy: The more energy you have, the more will need to be vented. What this means is that excess energy gets dissipated into fidgeting, a definite sign that you’re nervous or ill at ease. While it’s easy to say, “watch the fidgeting”, Driver suggests you never touch your face, throat, mouth or ears during an interview. The interviewer may feel that you’re holding something back, typically, the truth. Although this is a false assumption, it’s necessary to avoid touching your face.

3.) What to Do With Those Hands and Arms: Driver says that clasped hands are a signal that you are closed off. A palm-to-palm gesture with one thumb over the other thumb sends the signal that you need the interviewer’s reassurance. To come across as confident, receptive and unguarded, have your hands open and relaxed on the table. When your body is open, you project trustworthiness. Avoid crossing your arms over your chest. When you do, you signal that you are close-minded, defensive, or bored and disinterested.

4.) Leg Crossing: Don’t cross your legs. This posture creates a wall between you and your interviewer. It can also become a distraction when you keep crossing your legs back and forth. Crossed ankles are a “no-no” because you could be signaling that you want to be elsewhere.

5.) Posture: A straight posture is imperative during an interview. Pull your shoulders back and sit up straight. You’ll give yourself a burst of confidence and allow for good breathing. This can help you to avoid, or at least reduce, feelings of nervousness and discomfort.

6.) Finger Gestures: Bet you never thought you had to worry about your fingers during an interview. Steepling your fingers make you look arrogant and never point your index fingers.  These are the types of aggressive messages you want to avoid sending.

While it’s a no-brainer to focus on how best to answer those typical interview questions, don’t forget to pay some attention to that other 85% of what you’re communicating non-verbally. It can pay dividends after your interview when you realize your body often speaks louder than your words.

Article Source | Joe Turner,

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