How Human Resources Personnel Judge Your Body Language During The Interviews
Don’t cross your arms (or your legs)
According to a study on body language and the human psyche, crossing of the arms is a gesture of defensiveness. It also gives off the sign that the person is not confident or that he/she is in a undesirable place. These are all negative signs to give off especially during an interview.
Many people (ladies, especially) also cross their legs at the knees, but since that can get tiring after a while (and also be hard to get out of quickly), we would suggest crossing your legs at the ankles instead. You can swap over to the other side easily and also have the flexibility to plant both feet on the ground when needed.
This is less distracting and can help the recruiter to focus on your words, not your actions. The crossing of legs, like the arms actually shows defensiveness as well.
Lean forward, but sit straight
This is slightly harder to do, because many people tend to slouch when they lean forward.
A tip that we would recommend is to sit all the way back in the seat. Let your back touch the backrest, and try to make sure that you can feel the contact from your mid-back down.
You can then lean slightly forward as it shows that you’re interested in what the recruiter is saying. We’ve had many interviewees who lean back too much (and then cross their arms as well!), and that gives off the vibe that they’re looking to leave as soon as possible. When that happens, recruiters are bound to find this off-putting.
Make sure you know what job you’re interviewing for
Of course you should research the role before you turn up to the interview, but make sure you know what your day-to-day activities for the role will entail. In the F&B industry, for example, you’ll be on your feet all day, so recruiters tend to look out for people who look uncomfortable standing for long periods of time. What this equals in an interview situation is:
- Candidates who have a limp (If you hurt your foot/leg, reschedule the interview. Recruiters don’t know if this limp is temporary or permanent.)
- Candidates who keep shifting awkwardly in their shoes
- Candidates who keep touching their faces (clean hands are the backbone of the F&B industry!)
Don’t fidget and don’t stare
Direct eye contact when speaking is important as it shows confidence. Naturally, we try to avoid looking at things we’re afraid of or are nervous about. Eye contact should be natural without widening your gaze too much. It should be relaxed but at the same time enough to connect with the interviewer.
“There was once I interviewed a candidate who for the whole interview, never once looked me in the eye as we conversed. He was staring at the table most of the time, so, needless to say, we did not see eye to eye” recalled Emmanuel Crouy, CEO and Co-Founder of GrabJobs.
Incessant fidgeting can also come off as more than a nervous tic, so direct your energy into other forms of movement (like gesturing, for example, or crossing your ankles). At the same time, ensure that you’re invested by shifting your gaze to other parts of the recruiter’s face instead of looking down at the floor.