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10 Body Language Mistakes to Avoid During Job Interview

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During a job interview, your body language can make or break you. If you make the wrong gestures, it profiles you as standoffish or insecure – and that’s not what a company is looking for. The body language of a person who’s about to get hired is key to a hiring manager. So, following the aforementioned tips will give you the edge you need to demonstrate what a good fit you are for a particular role. 

During an interview, your gestures and body positioning should always reflect confidence and ease of movement. If that’s not the case, it can backfire on you. Try not to fidget with your hands, cross your arms or shift from side to side nervously during questions. Instead, sit up and look professional – not too high or too low. Take pauses in between answers without looking at your interviewer.

Body Language Mistakes to Avoid During Job Interview


Non-Verbal Communication:

Non-verbal communication is the most direct type of communication and is the one you want to focus on. Throughout the interview process, your body language should be direct and professional. Conversely, it’s important to use good non-verbal communication during interviews as well as during in-person interactions. However, no matter how much you practice certain non-verbal gestures or movements, if you’re not natural at doing them, they will look awkward or unnatural. Here are some tips for good non-verbal communication:

  • Use good posture. A stable body position helps communicate confidence and power. 
  • Before you start a conversation with someone, sit up straight so your posture is solid. Give him/her a firm handshake that shows strength and confidence.

Why Body Language is Important?

The body language we make during interviews enables us to form a stronger impression on hiring managers. Though this was not always the case. Back in the day, researchers believed that you did not need to worry about how you carried yourself in an interview and that they were only interested in one thing – the answers you gave to their questions. This was of course very wrong because body language is important! It reflects how you feel about yourself and your answer will depend on that. If you’re nervous, your shoulders will contract and your voice will quiver as if saying, “I don’t know. I’m not sure.” On the other hand, if you’re confident, your shoulders will expand and your voice will appear to be calmer.

Body Language Mistakes to Avoid During Job Interviews: 

So, what are the DON’Ts of body language? Here are some that might help you get hired:

1. Lacking Eye Contact

First of all, it’s very important to make good eye contact when you talk as well as during pauses in a conversation. If you’re looking away, your interviewer might think that you’re not paying attention or that you’re lying. Also, if your interviewer sees that you lack confidence and are uncomfortable with eye contact, most probably they won’t hire you. 

2. Touching Your Face

This gesture is less obvious but still sends a signal to the interviewer that makes them think you can’t be trusted. This would get more attention than just fidgeting with your hands or legs to keep busy while talking.

3. Wrong Handshake

Yes, handshakes are very important because they represent your personality in an instant. There is a right and a wrong way of shaking hands. First of all, you should offer your right hand but this should be done in moderation – don’t make it look like you’re the president about to do the wave. The handshake should always be strong and confident, but not too strong or you’ll make your interviewer feel uncomfortable or even hurt them accidentally.

4. Pounding Your Chest or Thumping Your Table

This gesture should be avoided at all costs! It’s mainly used to show aggression and dominance, but this is not what hiring managers want to see during an interview. It also sends signals that make hiring managers think of you as unpredictable and over-confident.

5. Running Your Fingers or a Pencil Through Your Hair

This gesture is not only distracting but also shows that you are trying to look presentable for the interview. It also makes your interviewer feel that, for whatever reason, you do not care about how you look, which does not endear them to hiring managers in the least!

6. Body Posture

Your posture is just as important as your gestures, so make sure that you sit up straight and do not fold your arms or legs in a defensive position. You should look comfortable and relaxed, not closed off.

The key to good body language is sitting up straight and keeping your back as straight as possible. This makes you look professional and confident and sends the signal that you are not here only for an interview but that you are actually interested in working or getting a position there.

7. Crossed Arms 

This gesture is often used to indicate that you’re preparing a speech and are not confident in what you are saying. In addition, the use of crossed arms in an interview means that you probably have a different opinion or idea on the subject being discussed, making it harder for managers to find who they want to hire. So be careful if this gesture is made during an interview!

8. Looking Too Serious

It’s understandable to be serious at an interview and even take it seriously, but this is not the same thing as looking too serious. It’s better to smile, laugh, and have fun while talking and show your more cheerful side while still maintaining a professional air!

9. Fidgeting

This gesture is used often by children as a way to entertain themselves during a long lecture. So, it’s not very productive to fidget in an interview and can make your interviewer think that you’re restless (even bored) and unprofessional.

10. Lying

Though it’s not exactly a body language mistake still you need to remember – even if it’s for the interview, telling the truth is a good thing. If you’re not sure about something during your interview, simply make a gesture or say something that shows that you are speaking the truth and not lying to get hired or gain some sort of advantage over your interviewer.


These are only a few of the many body language mistakes that can be made in an interview, but they are the most common. As you can see, there is a lot to learn about body language and different gestures that you can use in day-to-day communication with the people around you. Remember, not only does it help you during job interviews but it also serves as a great tool for self-improvement and learning how to communicate more effectively with others. 

Body language is all about awareness of your subconscious actions and movements. In other words, visual signs or cues can tell others about your emotional state. These visual cues are called “non-verbal behavior”. Everyone may have different nonverbal behaviors, depending on their background and cultural situation. Interviewers will hire you based on how you perform during your interview, so it’s important to follow these tips to give them a good impression!

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Last Updated : 09 Dec, 2022
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