12 Facts About Body Language You Should Know Before Your Next Job Interview
Most of us aren't aware of our body language, especially when we're in a stressful situation — but interviewers are trained to read it.
Karl Rozemeyer at TheLadders says in a report that involuntary body language can be compared to stage fright for an actor.
To see how actors effectively communicate with their bodies, Rozemeyer spoke to John Treacy Egan, a Broadway actor, and Jodie Bentley, an acting coach.
“I think it is important to have body awareness before you go into an interview,” Bentley said. "There are many actions and habits that we should consider doing or avoid doing to tell the right story during the interview setting."
TheLadders gave us permission to share these 12 body tricks jobseekers should master before stepping into the interviewing room. All of the photos are modeled by Business Insider staffers.
1. Feel good
about your wardrobe and wear clothes that 'show you in your best lighting'
“I really think that the clothes that you wear impact who you are, and if you wear something that makes you feel fabulous, your body language is going to be so much more comfortable in the moment," Bentley said.
2. Hold onto a
talisman to comfort yourself
“Wear a piece of jewelry or a scarf or something that has meaning to you and can ground you in the moment. If I get nervous, sometimes I will look at my wedding ring and think of my husband who supports me, and I realize I should be doing this and I am on the right path."
"When we get nervous, we feel ourselves being removed from our bodies slightly. I think that having that talisman is a great way just to keep us grounded and present in the moment.”
3. Place your feet on the floor
Keep both of your feet on the ground and try not to cross your legs, which Egan said gives off signs that you're unsure of yourself.
4. Sit still
or you'll come off as a nervous person
“Nervous energy isn’t good,” Bentley said. “And so a lot of people cross their legs and shake their legs over and over again. Not that we need to sit with ankles crossed and be stiff.”
5. Place your
hands on your knees
“If you have to make a point,” Egan said, “you can use your hands.”
However, try not to speak with your hands, so keep them on your knees so that you'll be aware of them.
6. Sit a bit
forward to show that you're interested and serious about the interview
“You don’t want to sit back,” Egan said. “Leaning backwards can leave the impression that you are overly relaxed and can make you look untidy.”
your arms will make you seem unfriendly
“I think that is a bad habit that a lot of people fall into. It definitely closes you off (from the interviewer). Not a lot of actors do it,” Bentley said.
with your hair or cracking your knuckles can be extremely distracting to your
“I have big, red, curly hair, and I used to twirl my curls when I got nervous,” Bentley said. “It is about really being honest with yourself and saying to yourself: ‘What are my habits when I get nervous, and how can I eliminate them?’ ”
9. Putting your
hands in your pockets makes you look 'messy'
“If you are standing at all in the interview, then hands in the pockets are a big no-no. That just looks so clumsy and messy,” Bentley said.
Instead, Egan advised to "let your hands drop to your side, and talk. When you need to use your hands, engage them.”
10. Don't invade the interviewer's space and keep your hands and body parts on your side of the desk
“Some people just get too close for comfort,” Bentley said. “They think that they want to make a connection, so they get closer. Really knowing that boundary is really important.”
11. Use props to help you look more comfortable
“If you need a prop like a pen, use it if it makes you feel a little bit more comfortable,” Egan said. “Start with the place where you feel safest, holding your hands together or holding a prop, but give yourself the chance to step away from that during the presentation or interview. It makes you look stronger.”
12. Staring will make you look too intense and unnatural
“In a conversation, (actors) never fully lock eyes with people,” Bentley said. “We talk, we look people in the eyes, we have a thought, and we look away. We look to the right, and we look to the left.”
Egan agreed: When you start staring at them, you start "to look a little crazy. If you feel like you are looking the person in the eye too long, hold it one more second and break away.”