Perfect body language in the job interview

The perfect body language for your job interview

The best tips for a convincing appearance
The perfect handshake, a really winning smile, confident attitude from welcome to farewell: The ManaJump experts reveal how you can convince your counterpart of yourself non-verbally with the right body language in the job interview. Because who the dream candidate for the job is, personnel decide long ago not only after know-how and professional experience – but also after sympathy points, which are usually completely unconsciously assigned. With our tips and a little practice you can easily collect them!

The greeting: Hello, perfect impression!

Every beginning is difficult? That doesn’t have to be! With the right body language in the job interview, you can win over the personnel manager or future boss right from the start. And this is how it works: The correct posture for the greeting is upright and straight with a straight back and a slightly raised head. The arms should not be crossed but should remain open. Certainly you have documents with you, hold them best only with the left hand, so that the right one is always “ready” for the handshake. And the best thing to do is to wait for it! Because you have been invited for an interview, the host has the right of domicile – and that also includes the first welcoming gesture. Sounds stricter than it is, you just wait a short while until your hand is stretched out. The optimal handshake is about three seconds long and firm, shaking is only slightly indicated. Your counterpart unconsciously registers his posture and handshake very precisely, but what really takes him positively is your face! The right look really speaks volumes: Look openly and friendly – and above all directly at your counterpart. At least until your handshake you should really only look at your conversation partner, so don’t let your gaze wander in the room. Because this is quickly seen as a sign of general uncertainty and also as a lack of interest in the other person.

extra tip

Smile: switch on instead of put on!

As soon as you see your conversation partner, look at him friendly and very slightly smiling. Look him directly and firmly in the eyes – and only then spread your radiant smile! In this way you give the other person the feeling that your smile is really for him, personal and authentic.

The attitude in the interview: Stay open!

Even when sitting during the interview, the best posture is always as upright and straight as possible: non-slung shoulders and a stretched back demonstrate self-confidence and openness. Don’t make yourself small. Now you could lean firmly into the chair to keep your back straight – but you would symbolically move away from your counterpart. Better: Bend slightly towards the person you are talking to, especially while he is speaking. During an interview you are usually a little nervous and we also find the one or other question somewhat unpleasant. A natural reflex is to cross your arms. Unfortunately, this clearly shows an inner defense – and you want to present yourself openly and willingly! Don’t give in to the reflex and leave your arms open. This is easy if you place your hands next to each other on your thigh, preferably with your palms up. The hands in general: Discreet gestures underline what is said, but too strong gestures distract from what is said. Try not to make the radius of your hand movements too wide, i.e. not to stretch too far physically. And the legs? Unlike the arms, they should be as closed as possible. Cross your legs close together or keep them close together. And even if you are nervous: Don’t bounce your legs or feet, that would betray you immediately.

extra tip

Mirror effect: imitate calmly!

If you behave in small gestures in the same way as your counterpart, you will be accepted faster and better positively by him. If he makes a certain gesture often, use it once or twice. If he bends far forwards, do the same. Follow his gaze. But: Always imitate only slightly, otherwise it seems as if you are imitating your conversation partner.

The facial expression: Keep an eye on success!

Of course, no one likes to be stared at unrelatedly – but you should still keep an eye on your counterpart. This means: Do not let your eyes wander around the room during an interview, focus on your interviewee. Always look for a firm eye contact, especially when you are speaking yourself. This is especially true when it comes to your performance. For example, tell them that you have achieved a certain success in your last job: I have restructured the tasks in the team in such a way (general view of the interviewer) that the department was able to save 20 percent of time (in this part the view goes directly into the eyes of the interviewer). In this way you generally give more credibility to what has been said and use an unconscious phenomenon for yourself: statements made with focused eye contact remain better in memory.

While the other one is talking, you should nod slightly every now and then. That shows agreement and understanding. Despite understandable tension, your facial expression should always be as relaxed as possible. This also includes not smiling spasmodically uninterruptedly. This quickly seems to be put on and in the worst case as if you do not take your counterpart seriously. Just look friendly and turned towards you, always with a slight smile. But if you are smiled at clearly at a certain point in the conversation, smile back noticeably.

extra tip

Difficult questions: don’t look up!

Just when you answer questions, don’t look up – not even if you have to think for a moment. A look upwards suggests dishonesty, better: look briefly downwards.

The farewell in the interview: correct body language to the end!

The interview is over, now you “only” have to go – but the departure is just as decisive as the appearance. Do it with the parting again exactly the same as for the greeting: Leave to your interlocutor the lead with the handshake and snap your radiating parting smile only after a direct eye contact on. And what do you say at the very end? Quite simply: Goodbye! That is self-confident. I hope to hear from you or something similar against it seems anxious and asking. And if you have convinced yourself in the interview by body language and content, you certainly do not have to ask for a reunion! Instead, you can confidently walk out of the room in a straight posture. It is best to keep the posture and a friendly facial expression until you are completely within sight of the building. Then you can take a deep breath – and certainly look forward to positive feedback.

About Nathalie Wendt

Nathalie WendtNathalie Wendt is a freelance content and social media manager. She is the editor of the ManaJump blog and is our all-round professional for text and communication.