Body Language and NonVerbal Communication During a Job Interview

The Job Interview… It sounds scary right?

The main goal of a job interview is to allow your potential employer to get a sense of who you are. It also gives you the opportunity for you to showcase your qualification to the interviewer. A job interview can literally make or break your chances at landing a job. How you present yourself at a job interview is the employer’s chance to see if you portray what their company is looking for.  With that said, it is important that you look your best and that your uses of body language or non verbal communication are in sync and sending out the right messages to your potential employer.  

What is Body Language?

According to Daniel Gansle, “body language is in the realm of what is called nonverbal communication, or put simply, communicating without words…everyone uses nonverbal body language every day,” (site101.com) Some examples of nonverbal communication and body language that I am talking about are simple things such as smiling, your tone of voice, your appearance (did you put effort into what you look like for the interview), your facial expressions, your posture… I could go on and on. These simple things can literally break your opportunity for landing the job before you even speak to the person interviewing you. 

Why should we care?

My mother always told me that “an interview is your employees’ first impression of you and you better not blow it because sometimes you only get that one chance.” Employers are looking for body language and nonverbal communication to help them asses you during the interview. They are examining you from the moment that they walk up to you to the moment you leave. Your attitude, interests, outlooks, and more are being assessed based solely on your body language. 

 As the interviewee we have to remember to think about what we are doing. When we talk, we think about hat we say, but our nonverbal cues and body language are usually done unintentionally. Be particularly mindful if you have a certain “quirk” that you tend to do when you are under stressful situations. It is also important to remember where you are interviewing and with whom because gestures tend to have different cultural meanings. For instance…you wouldn’t want to shake someone’s left hand in Egypt because it’s designated for bodily hygiene use.

All you have to do is Google body language and nonverbal communication in a job interview to determine that there are a lot of do’s and don’ts out there. When it comes down to it, employers differ in what they are looking for. I did find this quiz that includes some of the reoccurring points that I found while researching for this post. (University of Kent) Some things that came up time after time were:

  • Remember to smile: Especially when showing excitement and use your eyes when you smile.
  • Dress for success: Make sure that your showered and dressed in business casual
  • Be mindful not to roll your eyes
  • Sit up straight
  • For more do’s and don’ts please vist careerbuilder.com

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Body Language and NonVerbal Communication During a Job Interview

  1. matidmore

    I agree with your mom that the interview is your way of making a good first impression. Also some of your tips you gave were very helpful. I know in my personal experience, keeping eye contact is very important too.

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  3. micaelacarter

    I found your post about nonverbal communication in a job interview to be very helpful. I will def. take into consideration everything you said as my graduation approaches, and I start job interviews. I find the comment that says,
    “They are examining you from the moment that they walk up to you to the moment you leave. Your attitude, interests, outlooks, and more are being assessed based solely on your body language” to be beneficial because often times we forget about our body language and we think it is only about what we say. Lastly, I agree with you on telling us to be mindful of our body language.

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  5. Jacqueline

    I think there is good advice in what your mother told you in regards to the importance of first impression in an interview. I think that people are constantly under estimating the importance of first impression. Your post on proper body language and non verbal communication provided useful information on how to improve your first impression.

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  7. mspille1

    Along with everyone else, I also agree with what your mom told you. First impressions can either make you or break you in job interviews. It’s almost overwhelming to think about an interviewer not only critiquing what you say, but also your nonverbal language. I found your post to be helpful and a good reminder of things to keep in mind when you are interviewing. Thanks for the tips!

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  10. Great job on the blog Meghan :-). This was very helpful. This was a great reminder on how important non-verbal communication is. And oddly enough I got the same lecture from my parents about the interview being the first impression for the employer. Turns out they were right. I always find it funny to read simple things like this because it seems like it would be common sense people but people forget it all the time. Personally i think that hygiene says a tremendous deal about a person and how they work. Like they always say if you can’t take care of yourself you definitely are going to take care of someone else.

  11. Great job on the blog Meghan :-). This was very helpful. This was a great reminder on how important non-verbal communication is. And oddly enough I got the same lecture from my parents about the interview being the first impression for the employer. Turns out they were right. I always find it funny to read simple things like this because it seems like it would be common sense people but people forget it all the time. Personally i think that hygiene says a tremendous deal about a person and how they work. Like they always say if you can’t take care of yourself you definitely are going to take care of someone else.

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