Your Body Language for a Successful Job Interview

In any job interview, you should expect the interviewer(s) not just to be looking, but also listening. It is not enough that you know how to answer all the questions to be thrown at you. It is equally important that you convey a message even without saying anything. After all, everything that you don’t say may speak louder than your words. The thing is you have to be conscious of your body language so that you could get a better chance of having a successful job interview.

Knowing what your interviewers prefer to see you do or wear during the interview is essential in making sure you will create for yourself a positive first impression.


Choose a set of clothes that you are emotionally and physically comfortable with on your job interview day. It has been proven that job applicants who feel great about their appearance are more likely to be successful in their job interviews. Dressing comfortable doesn’t mean, however, wearing casual clothes. Needless to say, you must pick the attire that will be appropriate for the occasion, which is your job interview. There is no way you can wear slippers or T-shirt and expect to impress your interviewer(s).

The Handshake

You may think the way you shake hands with people don’t deserve to be in this list. But well, even a simple handshake can help you set a positive tone for your job interview. Basically, what you should do is wait for the person(s) conducting the job interview to be the one to extend his or her hand first. As the interviewer offers his hand to greet you, be sure to grasp his hand palm up and firmly. This way, you will not come across as an aggressive person.

Positioning of Your Feet

If you are wondering what the best posture is for a job interview, it is just sitting up straight and having your feet placed firmly on the floor. For women, crossing their legs must be avoided. Meanwhile, men are not supposed to open their legs to wide while they are seated. Also, sitting in a casual pose with your ankle resting on your other new is definitely a NO!


In any set of interview tips, you would learn that you should wait to be offered a seat by the interviewer before you actually sit. If you notice someone else is left standing, ask first where you can be seated. Otherwise, choose a spot where you can clearly see every member of the interview panel.

Arm Positioning

Another very popular tip for a successful job interview is having the right arm position during the meeting. In most cases, perhaps because of nervousness, interviewees tend to look confused as to what they should do with their hands and arms. Well, the basic rule is for you to do nothing with them. All you should do is relax. Simply let your hands and arms rest naturally on your lap. There is nothing wrong with casually doing some hand gestures as you speak, but make sure you don’t overdo it.

Space between the Interviewer and You

Slightly leaning forward is a good way of showing that you are enthusiastic about a conversation, but you have to see to it that you are not crowding personal space. Your success in your job interview can be determined by how impressive you are physically, so you don’t want to make your interviewer(s) think that you are too aggressive. Always keep around 30 to 36 inches of space between you and your interviewer. You can lean forward to show interest, but just avoid getting too near.

Eye Contact

Keeping an eye contact with the person interviewing you is another important gesture during an interview. As you address an individual, be sure to look him or her in the eye. This will make them feel your honesty, sincerity and straightforwardness, which are all, of course, desirable traits of an employee.

As you prepare for a job interview, rehearsing your answers to the interview questions and showing up on time are essential. But there are some other things you should not take for granted. Be conscious of your body language so that you can get a good first impression.


Cecile Peterkin, Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Centre, provides career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe. Download your FREE copy of our Career Guidance E-Book at: Cosmic Coaching Centre .Leverage the mind-share of retiring Baby Boomers and senior manag...

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