Career advice

How body language affects your interview technique

Your impeccable CV and cover letter have secured you a much sought after job interview. Now it’s time to impress in person.
The way you compose yourself, and the body language you display during an interview can have as much bearing on the outcome as your ability to actually do the job on offer.
Hiring managers want to meet candidates who are at ease and able to confidently discuss key issues, so we’ve drawn up a list of essential do’s and don’ts to help you succeed in getting through the interview with confidence and composure:


  • Scratch or rub your head or back of neck. You’ll look disinterested, distracted and uncomfortable.
  • Drum with your fingers or fidget with your hands on the table in front of you. It will make you appear easily distracted.
  • Rub your nose, eyes or the side of face. It will make you look shifty or dishonest.
  • Fold your arms in front of your chest. You’ll come across as arrogant and unfriendly.
  • Rock back and forth or slouch down in your chair. You’ll look lazy and uninterested.
  • Cross and re-cross your legs repeatedly. You’ll come across as nervous and uncomfortable.

Do (where possible):

  • Compose yourself prior to entering your place of interview. Find a mirror, straighten your clothes and check yourself over for good appearance.
  • Stand up before greeting and shaking hands with your interviewers.
  • Use a firm handshake and make sincere eye contact while greeting and saying goodbye to your interviewers.
  • Only take a seat at the interview table once you’ve been invited to.
  • Sit up straight, keep your hands above the table and ensure you can align yourself to make eye contact and speak clearly with all interviewers.
  • Express enthusiasm throughout your interview through positive gestures such as nodding, agreeing and smiling when appropriate.
  • Keep it together right up until you’re well clear of the building, and only then remove ties, loosen collars or change out of interview shoes.
Positive body language comes from feeling confident, which you can only do if you’re equipped to show off your skills and ask the right questions. So, sufficient preparation is the crucial first step in projecting the right body language.
Ready to put theory into practise? Browse Michael Page jobs to find your next interview.