Get that job… Let your body “speak” the right language!

We know that preparing for an interview is so important… This means, knowing all you can about the company and job you’ve applied for by practising and answering generally expected interview questions.

There is, however, one more thing you need to consider. The body language you will need to “speak” in order to land the job.

Few job seekers realise that their non-verbal communication in an interview is just as, if not more, important than their verbal communication. You might be saying one thing with your mouth, but your body can be
telling the interviewer a completely different story…

That’s why we want to give you some tips to make sure that the next time you are in an interview situation, your body says what you need it to say and doesn’t prevent you from getting the job…

Here are some handy do’s and don’ts for body language in the interview:


Make a good first impression with a firm handshake –A handshake reveals a lot about you and it’s important to find the right one. A weak handshake can portray you as someone who is shy and less than confident, whereas one that is too strong (and hurting the one receiving it) can make you look aggressive, over-eager or nervous. Practice your handshake on a friend.

Look them in the eye – Making eye contact throughout the interview shows you are alert and interested in the job and company you are being interviewed for, and have nothing to hide…

Show those pearly whites – We all know that interviews can be nerve-wrecking and “serious”, but don’t be afraid to smile and be friendly. It will make you much more “likeable” and seem like a valuable addition to any team.

Have a confident and energetic posture – Heed your mother’s long time advice and sit up straight, stand up straight, and walk as though you are heading somewhere in life… You will look focused, ambitious and ready to take on the job.


Fidget – Fiddling with your hands or playing with some small object throughout the interview can make you look unfocused and stressed. If you know you have this habit of fidgeting when nervous, lock your hands together on your lap right from the start when sitting down for the interview…

Slouch – Slouching indicates laziness, or a “I don’t really care” attitude, which is the last thing you want to communicate to your possible employer. Sit up straight and lean slightly forward if you can. This will show that you are attentive and very interested in the job and to hear what the interviewer has to say…

Fold your arms – Folding your arms can portray you as being closed off, defensive and cautious. Rather keep your arms at your sides or rest it on the desk in front of you to indicate that you are willing, open to receive and interested to hear what the interviewer is saying.

Infiltrate the personal space of the interviewer – The amount of “personal space” needed, varies from individual to individual, but always keep a generally acceptable space between you and the interviewer to avoid making them feel uncomfortable and annoyed. Take the seat they assign to you, and even if the interview went really well, had a friendly vibe and you felt a “connection”, resist the temptation to hug the interviewer…

Rub your nose – You might think that rubbing your nose is innocent, but unless it really itches, avoid this little habit. Rubbing one’s nose is a tell-tale sign of dishonesty or an indication of doubt.

Scratch or rub your head – This can make you look confused or overwhelmed by what the interviewer is saying or asking you. If you want to give off the impression that you are intelligent, responsive and sharp, ditch this little habit for your interview.

Body language is a subliminal thing and we often have certain habits we are not even aware of, that can be detrimental for our professional image.  Ask a good friend or family member to point out any habits you might have that can send the wrong message, and practice avoiding these in an interview situation…

Read these other interview tips to prepare yourself for your next job interview:

  1. Questions your interviewer will ask you
  2. Questions you should ask the interviewer
  3. Remember to ask your interviewer these questions too
  4. Tips to handling personal interview questions
  5. 5 Tips for interview success
  6. 10 Things to avoid during an interview

If you have recently gone for a job interview remember to tell us all about it on our Job Mail Facebook page . If your job interview was really successful and you got the job please share your testimonial with us at We would love you to share your story on what you did to get your job and you can tell all our other Job Mail job seekers what they can do to get their dream job using Job Mail.

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8 Responses

  1. Katie Range says:

    great read

    trying to avoid rubbing your nose though might be tricky and might start to pull faces as it has to be touched hehe.

    definitely good points regarding what TO do in an interview. this will be helpful for all up and coming people going to an interview
    thank you

  2. nelisiwe says:

    i find it very interesting and helpful. thank you

  3. Nix says:

    Thanks for all the great tips, I’ll let you know how it went…

  4. Nix says:

    Thanks for all the great tips, I’ll let you know how my interviews go from here…

  5. Bongani Nkosi says:

    Thanks for your interview tips, I’ve done about 5 interviews, but no feedback and didn’t loose hope, eventual , i made it.

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