September 16, 2016

How to Rule a Job Interview with Your Nonverbal Communication

Lisa Kirchmair

Did you know that you are constantly sending out signals subconsciously? Or that nonverbal communication has a significant impact on how what you say or do is perceived? It is not just about giving good answers in a job interview, but also your body language such as your posture, facial expression and gestures strongly influence the impression you make. It can express openness, confidence and honesty or it reflects your stress levels and insecurity.

Bear in mind the following points if you want to be successful at a job interview in a non-verbal manner:

  • Posture

Regarding nonverbal communication, you may already know that posture plays an important role: To transmit a self-confident image of yourself and to signal that you are feeling comfortable with the situation you have to have an upright and straight posture both standing and seated. Furthermore, it is important to consider that when you are sitting your whole body should face towards your hiring manager – turning away from them would seem as if you were rejecting your interview partner and the conversation. Also be aware that a too “cool” seating position, holding your legs when crossing them, might appear arrogant or even insecure.

  • Gestures

Beside your posture, you also should pay attention to your hands: crossing them or hiding them in your trouser pockets again indirectly signals disinterest or even boredom. In change, leave your hands loose on the desk, or even better gesture with your hands to emphasize the things you are saying. That will make an enthusiastic and engaging impression. Nevertheless, don´t over gesticulate by making too many, and too fast movements, as this will make you look nervous and erratic.

A young woman sitting at her job interview. She is sitting opposite of two interviewers. Source: iStockphoto
  • Facial expression

Furthermore, your facial expression, the so-to-say “language of your face”, also reflects certain feelings and thoughts without requiring you to say a word. During a job interview you should know how to have these facial expressions under control. To achieve that try to go to the job interview with a positive attitude. You don’t have anything to loose, just something to win! A good feeling will calm down your facial features and you will appear more relaxed. An open and stress-less expression on your face will have a favorable effect on your interviewer and they will subsequently be more open to you as well. Additionally, don’t forget to smile and to look directly at your job interviewer to project an air of openness and politeness. During the conversation you also can take a positively affirm what your interviewer is asking or saying by nodding with your head whilst they speak to show understanding and that you are focusing on the conversation.


Experienced recruiters are able to get to know your personality without needing to say many words. It is up to you what effect you wish to have on another person. Be careful of what you are expressing not just with your words but also with your body language. Transmit confidence and interest with your whole appearance! Also make sure that your nonverbal signals are coherent with the things you are saying. With some preparation you can avoid certain body language pitfalls. Once you’ve practices then it shouldn´t be any problem for you to be a confident and convincing interviewee during a job interview.


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Topics: Job Interview, Job Application, Career