It is not just WHAT we say during an interview that influences our job prospects. Our prospects also depend on HOW we communicate during an interview. Is our body language good?

Click on the image to take a look at this Forbes’ slideshow on interview body language that covers everything “from eye contact to posture to the way you fix your hair; avoid these 10 physical slip-ups in your next job interview.”


40 Replies to “Body Language Errors to Avoid During Interviews”

  1. Facial expression is important without doubt. Nowadays many interviews start from phone interview. Although interviewers cannot see our face directly, but actually they can tell a little when we speak.

  2. I have strong feeling about this. The reason is that when I had interview that I did not have time to prepare for it. I feel nervous and do not know where I should put my hands. During the interview the HR tell me some questions and asked me to respond it. I answered and can not see any desired look from HR’s eyes. At that time, I know I failed it. After that, I know body language is very important. It tells people what is your thinking. Some people prepared for it and ignore body language to make uncomfortable to HR manager. It will fail. Because knowledge and degree is one of the measurement but not all. They are more care about what is your personality and ethics.

  3. I actually just had an interview this past Friday for an internship and as much as you may read these tips before going in, it’s difficult! Sometimes I feel like I’m concentrating too much on what I should or shouldn’t do and not enough on the questions asked. Other times I completely forget to worry about my posture, nervous ticks, and my eye contact. I think I do pretty well on the eye contact, but when I’m not looking at the interviewer, I tend to discreetly look around behind them. Where else are you supposed to look? I also have a tendency to lean to the left and rest my arm on the arm rest when I sit in the chair. I guess I should break that habit! I found this article to be very helpful and I will definitely refer to it for the next interview!

  4. This is an interesting article. Worrying about what to say is usually what worries people the most when preparing for an interview but as this article states, body language is also important. The 10 body language mistakes that were shown usually happen subconsciously; the person is not aware. However, now that they are pointed out it can be easier to control our body language during interviews.

  5. This article was very interesting and I think it can be applied past the interview and into a job setting as well. As important as it is to follow these rules when looking for a job, I think a lot of people get comfortable and forget about them when they are in their workplace. While body language carries a different weight at a job, I think these tips are helpful to keep in mind for a big meeting or a presentation to a room full of people. We still want to come across as confident and poised in our current position and these simple tips can help us to do that.

  6. This is very interesting. I have yet to be on an official interview other than an informal meeting with the parents for whom I’m babysitting, but I assume that eventually in the next couple of months I will have to prepare to go to a formal interview for a job. I agree that body language is incredibly important and this post makes me wonder if it’s more important for a woman to adhere to these body language rules than it is for a man. Body language in every day life is super important, so I imagine in a job interview setting it is even more important!

    Michaela Cody; MKT 101 Section 1

  7. Wow, this article is very thought-provoking! Not many people pay close attention to their own body semantics such as your posture or ticks you commonly do when feeling anxious. Because these are all subconscious reactions from your body, it sometimes becomes difficult to regulate them and converse properly. Interesting article!

    Dylan Ander MKT 101

  8. This was a very intriguing article and very helpful as well. I’m usually fine personally talking one on one with people, but these tips are definitely going to be used. You never really notice these type of things until they’re pointed out to you, and it seems that we all have flaws when it comes to errors in body language. These errors will definitely be put forth the next time I see them pop in life, interviews, etc.

  9. I like this article, and though it was a bit short, it did touch on basic body posture and key points of social etiquette during interviews.
    I would like to also add on that for many people, putting your hands behind your back may be necessary while waiting for a client to step out. I tend to it personally, as it is a convenient way for me to avoid fidgeting around.

    In terms of facial expressions, when cracking a joke, I always found it best to grin ear to ear when cracking jokes, but it pays to be sincere when discussing something important, such as the commission rates, pay structure, bonuses, etc..

  10. Although I’ve been in the US for almost 20 years, I still struggle to do some of these things. The problem comes from my Asian background. In my culture, eye contacts can be translated into confrontation. Confidence can be seen as arrogance and lack of humility. But in the US, I know I need to have a good eye contact, straight posture, firm hand shake, and confident tone of voice. So I try hard everyday to adjust to the western culture.

  11. I liked this article because it reinforced and reminded me of body language errors that I have already been aware of. Most of the examples given are self explanatory but it never hurts to re-learn important interview tips. However, I was confused to read the part that said that excessive nodding has been observed mostly with women. I cant imagine why that would be so.

    Matthew LoBiondo mkt MW

  12. This article is good to read and instill in one’s brain before going out into the world for job interviews and appearing fidgety and/or unapproachable by a possible employer. It is just a few simple things to remember: making eye contact, not closing yourself off, not fidgeting, etc. These simple things can make or break an interview and they should not be overlooked. I learned most of these in a mandatory oral communications class and they prove to be helpful in appearing confident.

  13. I am a person who does not like to public speak, I also get very nervous when I talk to people I am not very comfortable around. When it comes to job interviews I do not fidget or hunch my arms. But after reading the powerpoint I do realize that I tend to break eye contact very quickly. I think it is very uncomfortable to stare at someone the whole time they are talking. I do agree that if i was the interviewer in that situation it would be very uncomfortable if someone is shut off, and fidgeting. I do understand that people get nervous because I do to. I think that as long as the person has a good resume, a good background, and has well worded answers to interview questions, then they are just as qualified as someone who happens to be a little more confident in themselves.

  14. Very nice article, I can be very comfortable around new people everyday but I can see how some people can be very uncomfortable in an interview.
    When you talk about a topic that you are knowledgeable about you will probably be more relaxed.

  15. People sometimes don’t realize how important body language is. It can send other people message that you may or might not want to give off. This is why is is always important to minor your body language, especially in somethings as important as an interview. You must mont it because you want to might sure you aren’t giving the other person a message that you don’t want to give them.

  16. This piece was especially significant when it comes to wanting to ace an interview, but also very difficult to master. It is important not to fidget or slouch, but thinking too much about it during an interview can make you lose your focus and answer in a nervous manner. Also, holding eye contact, but knowing when to break away to avoid “creepy” staring is another concept that could take time to grasp. As a college student looking for jobs and internships, this is information that I will definitely take with me. All in all, it takes practice, confidence and a calm persona to hold a successful interview.

  17. I believe that with the world becoming more technological people being interviewed for jobs do not know how to act when being interviewed. It is great to hear feedback from people who conduct interviews in the industry as they know what to look for.

  18. I find this to be an extreamly insightful article to better peoples interview skills in the future. More times then not young adults who are on interviews get very nervous and tend to do many of the things shown in these photos. It is remarkable how a job could depend on ones expressions opposed to their actual qualifications for the job. This definatly gives readers something to think about.

  19. I find this article to be very helpful but there is a downside. I find that even if you are super prepared for interviews and are aware of the do’s and don’t’s, most of the time it is difficult to not let nerves take over. All of these suggestions are nervous habits and its hard to not be nervous when you are going for your dream job or have been rejected by jobs in the past due to poor interview skills.

  20. Body Language is just as important as what you say in interviews and very important in retaining your job and getting pay raises. Excessive nodding shows that you are nervous, crossing arms shows that you do not care, fidgeting also shows you are nervous, hands behind the back is not professional and looks like you are hiding something. There are so many ways to perceive a person by a 5 minute interview. This is why I stress you must be yourself in interviews, lying or trying to cover things up might make you feel more successful but people can tell when you are lying through uncontrollable body language. In sum, being your self and being confident is how to land an internship or job position.

  21. This is especially important in business. When I had my interviews at multiple finance firms, thankfully I got them you always have to have in the back of your mind to have good posture and show confidence. Each action that someone does as it is from the way someone sits in a chair to the eye contact sends a different message. It is very easy to say you will have good posture and everything but actually doing it is completely different because your in the moment and often people forget about it. I think each action you do when your on an interview the boss takes a mental note for later on when evaluating to give someone the job or not.

  22. I did a lot of research on body language and nonverbal communication in high school. I even read a book written by an ex-FBI agent who discussed how hand motions and blinks and self-touches show all types of emotions and reveal answers to cases. Body language speaks the loudest; confidence, competence, and comfort are all told and confirmed by the body and not enough emphasis is put on that early on in the interviewing process.

  23. I am very glad that I read through this post. Most of the don’ts in this article I could have guessed. However, the one that I never even thought of was the “bobble head” nodding. I thought this was a way to show interest, but I guess that too much of anything is usually bad. I definitely fall victim to this error, and after reading this article, I will be more sensitive to my body language in job interviews.

  24. As a former manager of a retail store, I was in charge of much of the hiring. Most, if not all of the things on the list I feel are common sense, but you would be surprised at how many interviewees were guilty of quite a few of these things within the same interview. Either they are not actually common sense, or too many people become unaware of themselves in high pressured situations.

  25. I always believe body language is very important. When we prepare interview, we not only need to prepare interview questions, but also need to have a preparation about our body language. It’s kind of our express of confidence. I think there’s a good way to practice body language is standing in front of a mirror, and assume you are interviewing, and rehearse what and how you should do in a interview properly. Thus, when you are in a real interview, you will know how to control your body language and how to express yourself perfectly.

  26. Facial expressions are defiantly the more important in some cases then what you say during an interview. Facial expressions show more about a person than what they say. IF one can control their facial expression and show they are not nervous or that they have confidence even if they do not or are nervous. Employers want to see that you are comfortable and take keep your cool in stressful situations. My biggest issue is that I rub my hands on my legs a lot to keep my nerves in check. If I can keep my breathing level and hands from not shaking, I will get more confidence and ace my interviews.

  27. Absolutely agree with the point made by author. Like bad posture, breaking eye contact, and pointing during interview are very annoying to interviewers and may make them do not like you even though you are good at answering questions. However, some body languages are very helpful during interview.For example,as a non English native speaker, I prefer person-to-person interview over phone interview is because it allows me to interact with interviewers using body languages to express my ideas clearly.

  28. This post introduces the common mistakes that every interviewee will make. As a non-native speaker, not matter how well I prepared, I always get nervous when I speak to native speakers. Actually, I know almost every point that mentioned in the blog, but I will do these things inadvertently. When I cannot understand what the interviewers ask or I cannot give them perfect answers, I fall into a bad situation. It is easy to notice myself to prevent making these mistakes, but it is not easy to control in the interviews. For me, I always add a little gestures to hide my nervous, and try to use them to express what I want to say clearly. Also, I always tell to myself that if you fall into bad situation is ok, the most important thing is to adjust myself and then get out of the bad situation. Sometimes I will breathe deeply, or try to ask interviewers questions to let me understand what they want to get. Overall, I think the good way to avoid making mistakes is to do more practices and increase self-confidence.

  29. Some gestures that a person has are from his/her culture background, like nodding. And also some gestures are because of lack of practice. From my own experience, I was like to avoiding eye contact while I am nervous because eye contact from interviewer will make me even worse. In addition, I would become not confidence about my repose which makes me look not reliable. In order to avoid my nervous while interviewing, I get my materials well prepared and find a person to give me a monk interview.

  30. Body language affects a lot when you are doing a review. Your emotion and your feeling will express through your body. For instance, your facial expression will tell employers you are anxious or exciting. I have my own experience, as well. I did not prepare for the interview very much because of the busy days. Thus, I shows a little intense and I am even afraid to look at the employers. I believe that they can tell. As a result, I did not pass the interview with no doubt.

  31. In a interview, I think the most significant thing for every interviewee is confidence. As soon as you’re not confident, your interviewers will immediately feel this through your stammer, slow speed of speech, shifty eyes and less eye contacts. Once you encounter this situation, the impression and scores of this interview will be down a lot. I always met the problem of no confidence or being nervous when asked by a question I was not sure about, and the results of interviews were absolutely bad. After experiencing those accidents, I have my own ways to deal with those unconfident and nervous conditions, that is smiling and suitable eye contacts with avoiding any strange gestures in that uncontrollable condition of feelings. Smiling could help you relaxed and you can stop seconds to think about this question or you also could ask interviewers to give you second s of thinking, so that you are able to have smoother and more correct answers.

  32. This is so useful for us right now. Since we are busy of the job searching recently, some of the above suggestions we should definitely pay attention to. I think when we are at the interview, If our body languages convey that we are at ease with the subject matter and convey confidence, we would have a higher probability of getting the job, especially in this tough job market.

  33. It’s good to know the big difference body language can make. In my opinion, body gesture is a reflection of people’s mind. In order to avoid inappropriate body language, make sure to be polite, don’t be nervous or aggressive, and don’t lie when talking with others, you’ll be fine.

  34. How to control body language during interview is really important! Many experience tell me that under the same other conditon, the behavier of one person can be the decisive factor of being hired or not. Asian’s body language is very different with Western’s. The time of eye contact, and the way of being polite–like shaking hands or make a bow to each other, and whether to speak out the point in a straight way or use circumlocution. We need to master the right way while interview in Asian or US.

  35. Body language is key! It’s good to realize the impact of body language. Body language is a exposure of what an individual is feeling on the inside. try not to be negative. also, have good posture and appearance, because you can be judged by how you carry yourself!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.