Originally authored by April Klimkiewicz at Bliss Evolution
So you have an upcoming interview. Congratulations!
Hi, I’m April with Bliss Evolution, and today we’re going to explore body language and how you can project the most confidence during an interview through your body language.
So let’s begin. Let’s say you’re sitting down and you’re slouching back because you’re really relaxed and comfortable.
What message am I sending?
Probably that I’m not that interested in what’s going on.
Okay, so we don’t want to be too relaxed, and we don’t want to project that we don’t care. So what if we’re sitting up straight and we’re getting a little uncomfortable because it’s a new situation. Maybe the office is even cold. We’ve got our arms crossed, or our legs crossed at the knees.
What message am I sending?
Even If I don’t mean to, I’m probably sending the message that I’m trying to keep somebody away from me. I’m creating a barrier in front of my body (that’s my arms that are crossed) between me and the person that I’m talking to.
What's the difference between closed and open body language?
And so, if I want to create less of a barrier and actually let somebody in, then I’m going to move away from closed body language (which is this) to open body language.
And open body language is having no barriers between you and the other person that you are creating.
So open body language is hands next to each other on the table. Or, maybe you’ve got your portfolio in front of you, or a notepad and a pen, and not crossing the hands, not crossing the arms, not crossing the legs at the knee, not creating a false barrier.
Instead, crossing the legs at the ankle or just keeping the knees and the ankles together. Or, hands on the lap if there’s no table in front of you, or you know, a casual situation with one hand on the lap and one hand on the table, or both hands on the table, but open.
And this is the case, or if you find yourself coming into closed body language, it’s okay. Just remind yourself, “Oh, let me take a step back and open up my body language during the interview.”
So we’ve talked about closed body language; we’ve talked about open body language, and open body language is the way that you want to present for your interview.
How should I sit during an interview?
Now let’s talk about the most proper way to sit. So rather than slouching back like we were saying, you want to sit up straight and tall in your char. I’d say lean off the back, and scoot just a couple of inches forward off the back of the chair so you’re not tempted to lean back. And instead, lean slightly forward. Nod, make eye contact with everybody who’s there, remember to keep that open body language, and smile if you can. And this creates a really inviting way that makes you look like you’re super interested in what’s going on, versus something like this where you’re talking from back here, or even sitting up straight and tall but crossing your arms across your chest.
So, remembering to maintain open body language is going to help you feel more confident because you know that you’re going to be presenting in a way that the employer actually wants, and they’re going to feel welcomed by you.
What should I do with my hands during the interview?
Let’s talk about hands. So, I’ve been saying you can keep your hands on the table, maybe you can put one of your lap, or both on your lap if there’s no table, but you wan to avoid hiding hands.
So you don’t want to hide both your hands under the table, you don’t want to hide hands in pockets or behind your back. And this is evolutionary. If people can’t see your hands, then their unconscious inclination is that you might have something to hide.
You can even talk with your hands, don’t direct flight traffic out there, you don’t want to, you know, talk very, very big with your hands. But keep it in torso area, and you can talk with your hands, you can be expressive with your hands, remembering to open up if you ever close your body language, to lean forward, smile, and nod.
So those are our tips for having a great interview and making sure that your body language matches the message that you’re trying to send that you’re really excited about this position and that you would love to work there.
Final tips for the interview
So a few final tips:
Make eye contact
Be sure to maintain open body language for your interview