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Three body language errors to avoid in an interview

12 months ago by Daniel Stargatt
Three body language errors to avoid in an interview

Body language can say a lot about a person, in fact it is said that 55% of the impression we make on the interviewer is made through our body language… wow! 

With this stat in mind I hope you agree that getting your body language right is very important. We have put together some helpful advice on what not to do when it comes to your body language in an interview situation... 

The handshake

The handshake has always and will always be key to first impressions. Get the handshake wrong and it could lead to the interviewer switching off immediately. Here are the bad handshakes to steer clear of…

  • The limp shake - The handshake that makes people feel slightly sick inside because it’s just so weak.
  • The bone crusher - The handshake that makes the recipient of this handshake wince in pain.
  • The damp squid - The handshake that involves a slightly damp hand. Yuk!
  • The lingerer - The handshake that’s just awkward because it never ends.

You may think this sounds like a crazy idea, but if you are unsure what makes a great handshake why not practice on someone you know… honestly getting it wrong can genuinely harm your application.

Eye contact

Getting your eye contact right is important because it can really help with keeping the interviewer engaged throughout the whole interview. Here are some of the classic errors people make and things you need to be conscious of…

  • Not keeping eye contact when the interviewer is speaking.
  • Not keeping eye contact for long enough when you are speaking.
  • Overcompensating and you begin to stare rather than keeping eye contact.
  • If there are more than one person in the room, failing to look at them as well.  Generally, you should devote more attention to the person who asked you the question, but it is good practice to give the others a bit of your eye time.

Don’t over think it when it comes to eye contact. A bit of advice, take a notepad to the interview so if you do sometimes feel awkward keeping eye contact you can look down at it to break eye contact and then back to the interviewer so it gives you a bit of a break. 

Fidgeting and fiddling

This isn’t necessarily interview ending but it can get terribly annoying. Plus the more you fidget and fiddle the less time the interviewer will be focussed on you and what you are saying, as they are distracted by whatever it is you are doing. Here are the main distractors…

  • The leg shake - you may not know you’re doing it but my goodness it’s annoying.
  • The pen click - just no.
  • Picking your nails and fingers.
  • The finger or foot tap. Same as the clicking pen but just a different tone.

No doubt you have also experienced similar things that are equally as annoying. The best things to do to prevent these irritations are to place your hands on your lap or on the arms of the chair and just be conscious of them.

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