An African-American man and woman in business attire sit across the table from a woman with blonde hair. The two women are shaking hands.

5 Non-Verbal Cues Interviewers Watch

An African-American man and woman in business attire sit across the table from a woman with blonde hair. The two women are shaking hands.

5 Non-Verbal Cues Interviewers Watch

Looking for tips on how to ace your next interview? Here are five common non-verbal cues that interviewers watch, including eye contact, posture, and more.

5 Non-Verbal Cues Interviewers Watch

It’s often the little things you do that make the longest-lasting impressions on people. This is especially true of your non-verbal cues during a job interview. What is non-verbal communication? It’s the physical signals, also known as body language, that you give that could be interpreted in ways that you might not be aware of, or that could give an impression that you might not mean to convey.

Body language — such as if and how you make eye contact, facial expressions, attentiveness, and the way you carry yourself — says something about you. When it comes to nailing a successful job interview, it’s important to be aware of the non-verbal cues that interviewers watch and interpret.

Attentiveness and Engagement

It’s natural to be excited about a job opportunity, but remember to listen carefully to the interviewer and not interrupt him or her. Listening displays a sign of respect and an interest in learning more about the company and position. Lean forward slightly to show interest and curiosity, but don’t sit on the edge of the chair, as doing so can project insecurity.

Turn off your cell phone before the interview, and keep it tucked away to show the interviewer that he or she has your full attention. Don’t bring food or drinks or chew gum, as doing so can be distracting and even disrespectful to some interviewers. Show your interest and engagement by bringing a notepad and pen and taking notes during the interview. Be sure to ask the interviewer for permission first, though, and don’t let your note-taking prevent you from making eye contact.

Make Eye Contact

Making appropriate and consistent eye contact establishes trust, shows respect, and conveys honesty to the interviewer. Looking away frequently during an interview can give the impression that you’re not being truthful or are not interested in the position. It’s a good idea to nod your head at times when you agree with what the interviewer is saying and to show that you want him or her to keep talking. Be careful not to nod too frequently, as doing so can convey insincerity.

Two men and two women, all dressed in business attire, are seated around a white table with a notebook, a cup of coffee, and a laptop computer.

Posture and Gestures

Slouching, shrugging, scratching your head, and fidgeting can show disinterest or boredom. Sit up straight, with your feet planted on the ground or crossed at the ankles and your hands in your lap. Avoid crossing your arms, as this can communicate defensiveness.

Some hiring experts recommend displaying your open palms occasionally during the interview to convey sincerity. You might also consider using your hands to add another visual element to the interview. For example, when enumerating your skills, hold up a finger for each one as you list it to underscore it. Perhaps most importantly, remember to start and end the interview with an appropriately firm handshake and to initiate it.

Facial Expressions

Relax and smile naturally when you meet the interviewer and at different times during the interview to show interest, goodwill, and a positive attitude. Refrain from raising your eyebrows excessively, as doing so could tell the interviewer that you disagree with him or her.

A man in a dark colored suit shakes hands with a smiling woman in a black blazer as she holds a folder in her left hand.

Show Consideration

Make sure to be on time, and even if you’ve already e-mailed your resume, don’t assume it’s at your interviewer’s fingertips. Bring a few crisp, clean copies in case there are multiple interviewers. Remember to follow up promptly with an individual thank-you note to everyone who interviewed you to show your enthusiasm, gratitude, and interest.

Which non-verbal cues are you most aware of during job interviews? Share them with us on Facebook.