How to Ace an Interview With Body Language

Glasses, pen, and employment application.
Glasses, pen, and employment application.

Are you applying for a job? Think about your body language before going into an interview.

It is very important for interviewees to not only think about the verbal answers they want to give in an interview, but also what their nonverbal answers are saying. Up to 93 percent of our communication is nonverbal -- our body language, facial expressions and voice tone. So, have you thought about what your body language is saying when interviewing for your dream job?

Here are just a few tips for you to ace your interview using body language:

1. One Bag

Studies have shown that people who carry more than one thing -- like a purse and a briefcase or a briefcase and a coat are perceived to be less organized and more forgetful. So, before going into an interview be sure to consolidate your bags, leave coats and extra things in the car and give your coat to the receptionist to hang so you do not have to carry it into the interview.

2. Check the Back of Your Shoes

The last thing your interviewer will see when you walk out the door is the back of your shoes. No need to go out and buy new shoes, but make sure the ones you have are polished and not too scuffed up -- it shows you take care of yourself and pay attention to detail.

3. Smile Right

Women are told to smile when they are nervous, but studies show that the more people smile the lower their perceived intelligence. Also smiling over nerves gives off a disingenuous attitude because your smile is a cover up. So smile when you sit down, when you leave and when you are truly passionate about something, but do not smile just to hide your nerves.

4. Think About Your Physical Space

When women are nervous, they tend to take up as little space as possible -- crossing their legs, tucking their arms into the chair, but this looks weak and lacks confidence in an interview. When men are nervous they try to claim space by spreading out their legs and draping arms over nearby chairs and couches. However, taking up a lot of space is seen as aggressive by female interviewers and competitive by male interviewers. So be careful about your physical space -- be confident in your movements, don't tuck in your legs or overly spread out. This makes you look collected and balanced.

5. Sit Right

The best way to sit in an interview is in slightly angled chairs. If you have the choice, try to sit at a slight angle because studies show that when chairs are directly across from each other there is less recall of what is said, more negative answers and more close-mindedness.

6. Start in the Parking Lot

Your interview actually starts in the parking lot. You never know who you might meet in the elevator or if the receptionist reports on what she sees in the waiting room. Get in the mentality of your interview the second you pull into the lot.

7. Read Your Interviewer As Well

Remember if you are interviewing, be sure to know when your interviewer is lying to you by reading their nonverbal behavior.

Don't forget how important body language is in an interview -- practice your nonverbal communication as well as your verbal answers. If you want to dig a little deeper into body language and human lie detection, check out my book: Human Lie Detection and Body Language 101

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