Body Language in an interview

Dec 16 2021


You have been called for an interview indicates that the recruiters have already been impressed by your qualifications. The next step is to show that you are the best candidate for the job. During an interview, the impact you make is determined mainly by your nonverbal presentation, especially body language.

Body Language in an interview - PacketPrep

Do you know that 55 % of the conversation is made up of body language? It is the most fundamental part of nonverbal communication and is defined as "what we say without saying anything." 

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • How to use body language in an interview?
  • Elements of Nonverbal communication
  • Examples / Interpretations of Nonverbal communication
  • Body language hazards to avoid
  • The Success Indicators
  • Final Notes

Body language speaks volumes and expresses much of the meaning of spoken conversation beyond words. It is a vast topic, and mastering the art of reading body language takes much practice. Observing nonverbal behavior can reveal a lot about a person. Hence, this is one of the methods interviewers use to evaluate you as a candidate.

How to use body language in an interview?

Actions can speak louder than words. Therefore it is important to be aware of your body language and what it says about you. According to experts, people form 90% of their opinions about somebody within the first 90 seconds of meeting them just with their body language. Hence, when used correctly, it can help highlight what you are saying and give your words more weight.

The following are the elements that make up nonverbal communication.

Posture: How you carry yourself can reveal a lot about you. Standing with your shoulders drooping, arms folded, and leaning to one side gives the impression that you are unprepared or uninterested in the task at hand. Slouching or leaning too far back can create the impression that you are too relaxed with the situation. On the other hand, no matter how much stress is involved, if you stand with firm shoulders, head up, arms out by your sides, and closed fists, you will appear ready for anything.


Your smile is one of the most powerful positive body messages. You appear more appealing when you smile. Flash a natural, confident smile as often as the opportunity and circumstances allow. Smiling helps you maintain a relaxed and confident demeanor.


Eye contact

The importance of maintaining good eye contact cannot be overstated. The majority of interviewers will attempt to make and keep eye contact. . It is an excellent way to demonstrate your excitement for the job. Maintaining eye contact might also help you assess how the interviewer reacts to what you say and whether you should elaborate on your responses. 

If you are on the video, make sure you are not looking down or away from the camera. If you wear glasses, make sure you get the anti-reflective lenses (even though they cost more).


Rapid nodding can create the impression that you are impatient and eager to add something to the conversation if the interviewer lets you. On the other hand, slower nodding expresses interest, validates your interviewer's statements, and indirectly encourages him or her to continue. A slight tilt of the head, when combined with eye contact and a natural smile, conveys friendliness and approachability. Therefore, It is important to keep the tilt subtle and not overdo it.


Crossing your arms can make you appear protective. Try softly holding your hands together on your lap if your habit of flapping them around a lot. Moderate hand gestures are appropriate and can help to liven up a conversation.

Leg position: Keep your legs still, uncrossed, and firmly on the ground. If you have an anxious behavior, such as jiggling your knee or tapping the table, try to overcome it. Restless behaviors can be distracting, and they can show the interviewer that you are uneasy or uninterested.

Examples Of Body Language

Brisk, upright walkConfidence
Hands-on hips
Aggression / Readiness
Sitting crossed legs with foot kicking slightlyBoredom
Legs apart while sittingRelaxed
Arms crossed on chestDefensiveness
Shoulders hunchedDejection
Hand to cheekThinking and Observation 
Touching the bridge of the nose and lightly stroking itDeception, Rejection
Rubbing the eyeDoubt, disbelief
Hands clasped behind backAnger, frustration, and fear
Locked anklesAnxiety
Eyes downcast, Head resting in handBoredom
Rubbing handsAnticipation
Sitting with hands clasped behind headSuperiority and Self-confidence
Open palmSincerity and openness
Tapping or drumming fingersImpatience
Pointing fingersAuthoritative
Patting hairLack of self-confidence
Tilted headInterest
Nail-bitingNervousness and Insecurity
Pulling or tugging at the earApprehension/Indecision

Body language risks to avoid

Biting nails or fidgeting with hands, faking" a cough can certainly take one's attention away from what you are attempting to communicate. using any of these "insincerity indications" will confirm or instill suspicions about your honesty and effectiveness.

Pen tapping or finger drumming is a sign of impatience; this is an example of a small habit that can significantly be important in an interview setting.

The Success Indicators

Here are few pointers for good interview body language.

1. When entering the room, take your time and walk tall.

2. When greeting the interviewer, give (and, hopefully, receive) a friendly "eyebrow flash" that's brief, a slight raising of the brows that draws attention to the face, encourages eye contact, and (when accompanied by a natural smile) sends a positive signal that the interview is off to a good start.

3. Keep your attention averted from time to time to avoid the appearance of staring; when you do, glance confidently and calmly to the right or left; never look down.

4. Take a deep breath and relax.

Final Notes

Finally, keep in mind that your body language impacts your interview. Practicing ahead of time, especially in front of others, may assist you in nailing the interview with the appropriate body language.


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