Interview Body Language: Do’s and Don’ts for Success

Discover the significance of interview body language in this article. Here, we delve into the essential “do’s and don’ts” that can significantly impact your interview success. 

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your career journey, understanding nonverbal cues is a skill worth acquiring. Join us as we explore the unspoken language that can make all the difference in your next career opportunity.

The Impact of Body Language in Interviews 

Body language is crucial in interviews, often making or breaking a candidate’s chances. It matters not just what you say but how you say it. Nonverbal cues can convey confidence, enthusiasm, and professionalism. 

Conversely, poor body language might signal disinterest or nervousness. Mastering body language can give you an edge over other candidates. It’s a key tool in making a positive, lasting impression.


Basics of Body Language 

Body language forms the foundation of nonverbal communication. Understanding its basics is essential for effective interaction, especially in high-stakes scenarios like interviews.

Defining Body Language 

Body language includes gestures, postures, facial expressions, and eye movements. It’s a silent yet powerful communication that often speaks louder than words. 

In an interview, your body language can reveal your confidence and ability to handle stress. It’s an integral part of your message, complementing your verbal responses. 


Effective body language supports your spoken words, creating a cohesive and convincing narrative. You must know your nonverbal signals to ensure they align with your intended message.

Nonverbal Cues and First Impressions 

It heavily influences first impressions. Within seconds, interviewers form opinions based on your body language. Positive nonverbal communication can establish trust and likability. 

On the other hand, negative cues can create barriers. Nonverbal signals like eye contact, posture, and facial expressions are essential in creating a favorable first impression. Managing these cues effectively is vital to start the interview on the right foot.


Do’s of Body Language in Interviews 

Effective body language is a cornerstone of successful interviews. Here, we explore the positive nonverbal behaviors that enhance your interview performance.

Eye Contact 

Maintaining appropriate eye contact demonstrates engagement and confidence. It connects with the interviewer, showing that you are attentive and interested. 

However, balance is critical – too little eye contact can seem evasive, while too much can be intimidating. Aim for a natural, respectful level of eye contact that conveys your sincerity and focus.

Positive Gestures 

Using positive gestures and nods signals your engagement and agreement. It shows that you’re actively processing the conversation. 

These gestures should be natural and not overly exaggerated. They complement your verbal responses, adding emphasis and clarity to your communication.

Interview Posture 

Your posture during an interview speaks volumes about your attitude. An upright, open posture conveys confidence and readiness. 

Slouching or closed-off postures, in contrast, can suggest disinterest or discomfort. Adopt a posture that shows you’re alert, engaged, and respectful of the interview process.

The Handshake 

A firm handshake, where culturally appropriate, sets the tone for the interview. It should be firm but not overpowering. 

This gesture is a universal sign of professionalism and respect. It’s an opportunity to convey your confidence and start the interview positively.

Facial Expressions 

Your facial expressions, predominantly smiling, are vital in conveying friendliness and approachability. A genuine smile can lighten the mood and make you seem more relatable. 

However, it’s essential to balance smiling with seriousness to show that you take the interview seriously. Your expressions should naturally reflect your responses, demonstrating attentiveness and interest.

Don’ts of Interview Body Language

In interviews, certain nonverbal behaviors can negatively impact the interviewer’s perception. Recognizing and avoiding these is key to maintaining a positive impression.

Closed Off Gestures 

Closed-off or negative gestures, like crossing arms or avoiding eye contact, can signal defensiveness or disinterest. It’s essential to maintain an open posture to convey approachability and engagement. 

These gestures can inadvertently create a barrier, so being aware of your body language is crucial. Aim to present yourself in a way that is inviting and open to conversation.

Fidgeting and Face-Touching 

Fidgeting or touching your face can distract from your message and suggest nervousness. It’s essential to be aware of these habits and minimize them. 

Keeping your hands comfortably in your lap or on the table can help. Controlled movements suggest confidence and composure, enhancing the professionalism of your presentation.

Posture in Interviews 

Slouching or overly relaxed postures can be perceived as a lack of interest or professionalism. Sitting up straight is important, showing that you’re fully engaged and respectful of the interview process. 

A good posture improves perception and boosts your confidence and focus during the interview.

Excessive Nodding 

While nodding can show agreement, excessive nodding might seem insincere or overly eager. It’s essential to shake appropriately, balancing agreement with thoughtful consideration. 

This helps maintain a professional demeanor and shows that you thoughtfully engage with the conversation.

Reading the Interviewer’s Body Language 

Interpreting the interviewer’s nonverbal cues can provide valuable insights into how the interview is progressing. This can help you adjust your approach and responses effectively.

Interviewer’s Nonverbal Cues 

Understanding the interviewer’s body language can reveal their reactions and feelings. If they lean in, they might be interested; if they lean back, they might need more convincing. 

Matching their level of enthusiasm can be beneficial. Reading these cues allows you to adapt your responses and build a stronger connection.

Adjusting to Interviewer’s Body Language 

Your response to the interviewer’s body language can enhance the interaction. If they seem reserved, it might be wise to be more concise. 

If they’re engaging, opening up more can be effective. This dynamic adjustment shows your ability to communicate effectively and respond to social cues.

Body Language for Virtual Interviews 

Virtual interviews have their own set of challenges and nuances regarding body language. Awareness of how you present yourself on camera is crucial for a successful virtual interview.

Body Language in Video Interviews 

In a video interview, your body language is still apparent. Ensure you’re sitting upright, making eye contact with the camera, and using hand gestures judiciously. 

These elements help convey confidence and engagement, even through a screen. It must remain expressive and energetic, as the camera can sometimes dilute nonverbal cues.

Camera and Environment 

A virtual interview’s camera angle, background, and lighting can significantly affect your perception. A camera positioned at eye level with a clean, uncluttered background looks professional. 

Good lighting ensures your facial expressions and gestures are visible. These aspects create a professional setting, helping maintain the interview’s formality and clarity.

Preparing Your Body Language 

Practicing and preparing your nonverbal communication is as essential as rehearsing your answers. Adequate preparation can significantly enhance your presentation in the interview.

Body Language Practice Tips 

Before the interview, it’s beneficial to practice your body language to ensure it conveys the right message. Here are some tips:

  • Mirror Practice: Spend time in front of a mirror, observing your gestures, posture, and facial expressions. This helps in becoming aware of any negative habits.
  • Video Recording: Record yourself answering practice questions. Review the footage to see how your body language appears to others.
  • Feedback from Friends or Family: Perform mock interviews with friends or family and ask for feedback on your nonverbal communication.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Use relaxation techniques like deep breathing to control nervous gestures and maintain composure.
  • Posture Practice: Regularly practice sitting and standing confidently, even outside interview scenarios.
  • Eye Contact Practice: Try exercises that help improve and maintain natural eye contact without staring.

The Value of Mock Interviews 

Mock interviews are a great way to refine verbal and nonverbal communication skills. They simulate the interview environment, allowing you to practice your responses and body language in a realistic setting. 

Recording these practice sessions provides a chance to review and adjust your presentation. Regular mock interviews can boost your confidence, ensuring you are well-prepared and composed. 

This method hones your answers and makes your nonverbal cues more effective and natural during the interview.

Final Insights on Mastering Interview Body Language 

Mastering interview body language is a pivotal factor in your interview success. It’s about striking the right balance between confidence and approachability. 

You can significantly enhance your interview presence by understanding and practicing positive nonverbal cues. Remember, your body language speaks volumes, so make it an ally in your journey to career success.