Your body language can say a lot about you that you may not even realise. Sometimes, this may not be in your favour, especially in interviews. Here are a few examples of bad body language that could come across negatively in an interview.
Firstly, eye contact. You’ve got to find the right balance. If you avoid eye contact with the interviewer, you may come across as being dishonest or nervous. A survey carried out by Career Builder found that 67% of HR Managers didn’t like it when candidates didn’t look at them or looked down during the interview. You also don’t want to do the opposite and stare at the interviewer, as you will just come across as creepy! A helpful tip is to look at the upper triangle of a person’s face if you find it difficult to make eye contact; this is the triangle between the left and right eyebrow, to the bridge of the nose.
The handshake is an important part of the interview and how you execute it can say a lot about you. A hand shake that’s far too strong may come across as you trying to be aggressive or trying to be dominant over the other person. 9% of HR Managers said a firm grip was a turnoff for them. On the other hand, if your handshake is limp and feeble, it suggests that you are weak as a person and maybe a tad spineless. How about practicing beforehand so that you can make the perfect first impression?
One of the biggest and commonly known negative displays of bad body language is the folding of arms. The folding of your arms is a physical closing off of yourself from other people. It suggests that you are closed off and maybe even closed-minded. It may also give off the impression that you’re bored, this isn’t something you want to portray in your interview, and 32% of HR Managers said they didn’t like to see this! Open arms, or arms down by your sides, suggests openness and a willingness to talk.
Fidgeting is seen as an annoying habit by many people. Feet tapping, leg jiggling and excessive pen clicking are the most common forms of fidgeting. If you are tapping your foot, jiggling your leg, or wringing your hands, these are, primarily annoying, but it is sending the message that you are nervous (which is to be expected in an interview) but don’t make it too obvious! It can also be a sign of boredom and that you can’t wait to leave, so keeping still shows that you are focused and paying attention.
You may be keen to show that you’re positive and try to get on the interviewer’s good side by agreeing with everything that they are saying, but too much nodding and agreeing can make you look spineless. If you’re sitting there nodding away and maybe not paying attention, you could get called out for agreeing with something that you weren’t even listening to! Also, don’t do the opposite and disagree too much. This can come across as you being negative or trying to prove your dominance over the other person.
Other bad body language habits are pointing; as this is aggressive, excessive face touching; as this can make you seem dishonest or untrustworthy, and poor posture; as this can look lazy or arrogant.
Watch out for these bad habits, and you won’t suggest anything that you don’t want to. We wish you luck in any of your future interviews!