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Using your body language

You can tell a huge amount about what goes on inside a person’s head by how they use their body language. For example, playing with a ring or repeatedly touching your hair are often interpreted as signs of nervousness. A slouched posture or drumming fingers on a table can be construed as a lack of interest. Follow these tips to project the right kind of image:

  • Stand and sit up straight: Lengthen your body and hold your spine erect. Maintain a straight posture during an interview. Don’t let tiredness or nerves allow your shoulders to hunch forwards.
  • Stop any fidgeting: Don’t give away any hint of nerves by moving around in a restless fashion. Keep your hands clasped lightly in your lap or rest them gently on the table.
  • Use your hands to emphasise key points: Hand gestures can make people seem more sincere or credible. So use your hands occasionally to underscore key points to make yourself visually more engaging – for example, by turning your palms up and spreading your fingers to indicate sincerity or counting points off on your fingers.
  • Avoid crossing your arms: Some interviewers read crossing your arms as being a sign of defensiveness. So don’t do it. However, contrary to popular opinion, you can cross your legs – so long as you don’t cross your arms across your chest as well.
  • Keep your legs still: Avoid crossing or uncrossing your legs or tapping your feet. Such fidgeting can be unnerving.

Use your hands to emphasize key points only when you are speaking. Keep your hands still when the interviewers are speaking to show that you’re listening.

Avoid pointing at the interviewers – this aggressive gesture can seem intimidating.


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