Body language to be banned from the interview room immediately!

80% of communication is non-verbal. Fact. If it isn’t all about your chat, then surely we should invest time preparing our body language for an interview too? What’s the point of spending hours researching a company so we can wow hiring managers with our knowledge if a weak handshake promptly sends our application to the bin?! Careless!  


The Reader’s Digest has published a list of body language interview gaffes to be avoided at all costs. Below we list the most criminal body blunders of the list, as follows:

Using a too-weak or too-strong handshake. The former signals a lack of confidence while the latter could be interpreted as an attempt to dominate. So make your handshake firm but not bone-crushing.

– Avoiding eye contact. People who avoid eye contact or have shifty eye movements come across as suspicious, disinterested and/or socially inept. To convey a sense of confidence and ability, sustain eye contact for a natural period of time (experts suggest 10 seconds). You can also signal attentiveness by leaning forwards a little and tilting your head slightly when the interviewer is speaking. And avoid glancing at the clock, your watch or, horror of horrors, your mobile (turn it to silent and put it away!).

– Putting your hands in your pockets. This gesture can make you look unapproachable or even dishonest. People often try to take up less space and hide fidgety hands when they are lying.

– Forgetting to smile. One of the key things your interviewer is trying to ascertain is whether you’ll work well in a team. Smiling is an effective way of demonstrating that you’re up to the challenge.

– Slouching. This signals a lack of respect, enthusiasm and interest. So sit up straight in that interview chair! Good posture has the added benefit of making you seem more in control.

– Crossing your arms and/or legs. This creates a physical barrier between you and the interviewer so it can make you appear unapproachable and defensive. Rest your hands at your sides or in your lap instead.

– Fidgeting. This implies nervousness and a lack of confidence so ban all forms of this interview crime, including playing with your hair, papers and watch.

– Invading the interviewer’s personal space. To avoid making your interviewer uncomfortable, keep a respectful distance and – beyond your initial handshake – no touching, please!


Review and practice the above pointers as part of your interview preparation, to ensure that your body language is as on-message as your chat. If you’d like more advice on how to ace your interview – or to find great job opportunities in the first place – please get in touch. We are the UK’s leading multilingual recruitment agency and we are here to help! Please email us at or call us on 020 7092 3939 to brainstorm the options.