Having the ability to read body language is viewed as an asset by many; it gives you an insight to how people are thinking, feeling and in some cases having the ability to read body language can give you a distinct advantage. Many interviewers have the ability to read body language and are aware when candidates are feeling agitated, intimidated or displaying a wide variety of other negative emotions.
Knowing some of the main negative body language signals that interviewers may look for or notice can be critical if you want to avoid subconsciously giving off negative ‘vibes’ or signals. See below for four of the most common negative body language signals that interviewers are likely to notice.
1. Crossing Your Arms – Crossing your arms is viewed by many as being a sign of defensive resistance and being ‘closed’ to what the person you are speaking with is saying. Crossing your arms during an interview could potentially indicate to the interviewer that you aren’t listening to them and are closed off to what they are saying. It is recommended that you keep your arms open and preferably to the side or in another open position.
2. Touching Your Face During a Conversation – Touching your face during a conversation is commonly viewed as being deceptive, especially if it involves touching your nose or mouth as this could indicate to the interviewer that you are potentially lying or being deceptive.
3. Fidgeting – If you are being interviewed and are seen to be fidgeting by the interviewer it could potentially indicate that you are bored or nervous, examples of fidgeting might include wiping your hands on your clothes, foot and/or finger tapping, playing with small objects such as pens or touching/playing with the collar of your shirt as well as many other signals that might involve touching or playing with objects or clothing.
4. How You Lean –It is often noted that people will typically lean towards people that they find interesting and/or like during a conversation but will lean away from people that they aren’t interested in and/or dislike. How you lean can potentially have an impact on how you come across during an interview.
Now that you’re aware of four of the common negative body language signals that interviewers are likely to pick up on during an interview, you can implement this knowledge to avoid making these mistakes and ultimately give yourself an advantage at your next interview.