Body Language & First Impressions

Body language

Body Language

Here you will learn to come over as the type of person who could make a valid contribution to their organisation. Try the tips listed here.

  • Enter the room confidently and quickly
  • Look them in the eye and extend your hand for a positive, but not over-strong, handshake and keep your hand upright
  • Smile naturally when appropriate, but don’t look like a grinning idiot
  • They will invite you to sit down. Don’t slump. Sit up with a straight back
  • Don’t cross your arms or put your hands in your pockets
  • Look at them, not at the floor but break your gaze momentarily from time to time
  • When they are talking appear interested at all times and nod accordingly as they speak
  • Don’t cut across them when they are in the middle of a point and keep your hands on your lap
  • When you respond talk clearly and with enthusiasm and slightly slower than normal
  • You can emphasise points with hand gestures - but never point or tap on their desk
  • Mirror the interviewer. Laugh when they laugh, lean forward when they do

First impressions

From the moment you walk through the door you will be assessed. The receptionist will sometimes be asked by the employer for their observations, so always be aware. Professional interviewers are looking carefully for clues about how you present yourself and the possible future impact you may have on their staff or clients.
From research, in the first few minutes employer’s impressions are based on:

  • Body language (70%)
  • Tone of voice (20%)
  • What you say (10%)

Once you meet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake do break the ice (if the interviewer does not do it first) with some small talk-such as commenting favourably on the premises.
Try not to talk too much if you are following them to the interview room, apart from pleasantries if they are holding doors open for you. It is always awkward to talk to someone's back and likewise they can walk into desks if they are looking behind to talk to you!