interview body language

Interview body language basics

Interview body language has for a long time been held as a key indicator of the individual character traits of a candidate.

Body language is a series of subconscious actions that we as humans have little control over and can often convey an awful lot about us without us even realising it. Certain stances can tell prospective employers if the person sitting in front of them is sincere, confident and trustworthy where as others can give of signals of defensiveness, secrecy and even dominance.

All of these signals we give off in our interview body language are enabling the employer to make a judgement on how well you’ll fit into their existing team and how easy you’ll be to work with so it’s important that you understand how your own body language can affect the outcome of your interview.

After all, would you want to be working alongside someone who comes across as defensive or cold? Probably not.

So let’s look at the three most noticeable parts of interview body language and how the employer perceives them:

1. Hands
What you do with your hands during an interview is a huge giveaway to the type of person you are. Looking down at your hands, fidgeting with them and clenched fists are signals of nervousness, lack of confidence and secrecy so it’s best to avoid this type of body language.

Instead, use your hands whilst you talk and keep your hands at an angle where your palms are open as this conveys creativity and sincerity.

2. Body posture
Slouching during an interview is a big no-no for obvious reasons, you want to give the impression you’re interested in the role and what the employer has to say and not that your bored. On the other hand, sitting bolt upright makes you look nervous and crossing your arms or legs makes you seem unapproachable.

Relax (but not too much!) and make sure your interview body language shows that you’re not only interested but open and confident.

3. Facial expressions
This is a tricky one, as many of us are unable to control our facial expressions and that’s why employers keep a close eye on them during the interview. Just be mindful of frowning should you hear something you didn’t expect or when you’re asked a complex question.

Remembering to smile throughout the interview is also key as is addressing each person who’s conducting the interview and maintaining eye contact – don’t just focus your attention on one person as this can come across as rude.

For more professional help and advice on interview body language, call Appointments on 01782 338787 or email office@appointmentspersonnel.co.uk

Good luck!

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Emma Bonfiglio

About the author, Emma Bonfiglio

Managing Director at Appointments, Emma has spent 15 years building up a stellar reputation for commercial recruitment excellence across a variety of industries and sectors. There’s no staffing challenge Emma hasn’t encountered and her insight into the recruitment landscape has assisted countless clients achieve their goals over the years.


Specialising in the legislative and procedural side of business operations and through her extensive knowledge and continual training, Emma has a wealth of legal and contractual recruitment knowledge to help advise and support organisations of any size and in any industry.