If you’re nervous before and during an interview, you aren’t alone! Going into an interview is similar to your first day of school; you’re excited about the potential opportunities ahead of you, but you’re also nervous because there’s so much room for error and uncertainty. While this is a common feeling, you do need to be careful about how that nervousness may come off to an interviewer.
What you communicate verbally is critical, but not focusing on your nonverbal communication can prove to be costly. You may already have an extensive pre-interview prep list, but you’ll also want to take the time to identify and correct any bad body language habits that may raise some red flags and lead an interviewer to pass on you.
Here are the five bad body language signals you’ll want to get rid of before your next interview:
Crossing your arms
When you cross your arms during an interview, there are two negative vibes you may give off to the interviewer. First, you may be projecting that you’re hostile and unwilling to engage and be open. Second, crossing your arms can portray arrogance, and this trait alone can cause an interviewer to believe you’d be a poor fit for their team. Whether you intend to or not, you’re creating a divider between yourself and the interviewer when you cross your arms, so make sure you keep your arms either at your side or with your hands crossed in your lap in order to keep all communication open!
Sitting straight can feel unnatural, but not doing so can also cost you your chances of landing the job. By slouching, you’re communicating that you’re apathetic toward the interviewer and the job opportunity itself. Throughout the interview, try and be cognizant of how your body is moving, and adjust your posture when you feel it starting to slip.
Avoiding eye contact
One of the most important ways of showing a person that you are listening to them is by making and maintaining eye contact. Things like nodding your head constantly and verbally agreeing can be grating or seem insincere, so having eye contact is often your best bet to show you’re listening to the interviewer. By doing so, you’ll demonstrate that you’re actively engaged in not only what they have to say, but the job you’re interviewing for as well.
Whether it’s playing with your hair or repeatedly tapping your feet, few things are more annoying to an interviewer than a candidate who fidgets throughout the duration of the interview. To an interviewer, fidgeting is a sign of nervousness and insecurity, which could make an interviewer believe that you may not be able to handle high-pressure situations within the work place. Interviewers are understanding and will know that you’re likely very nervous during an interviewer, but it’s best to try and tamper down on these visible manifestations of it.
Checking the time
You may think a quick flash of the eyes to the wall, your wrist, or the pocket where you keep your phone won’t be caught by a hiring manager, but they will certainly know exactly what you’re doing once you make an attempt to check the time. Checking the time indicates that you aren’t satisfied with the interviewer or the opportunity, so in turn, you’re communicating to the interviewer that someone probably wants the position more than you do. Even if the interview is going poorly and all you want to do is get out of it as fast as you can, do everything you can to resist temptation and not look at the time.