How to Use Nonverbal Support During an Interview?

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How to Use Nonverbal Support During an Interview?

Interviews are an important and frequently required aspect of the job search process. Employers have the opportunity to meet candidates in person during job interviews. The company will not only have a list of precise questions regarding your résumé and abilities to execute the job, but they will also want to see how you are. Communication skills, both verbal and nonverbal, are essential for success.

Employers will not only listen to your responses but will also read your body language. More often than not, our gestures, actions, and facial expressions reveal more about how we’re feeling than what we say. Interviewers and recruiters want to determine if your temperament and personality will fit in with the company’s culture, in addition to your expertise and talents. They’re looking at your body language and amount of engagement to see how you express yourself.

You may believe that if you have the best answers to the interview questions, you will be offered the job, but this is not always the case. Nonverbal communication is a critical element of the success of your reply. This includes your body language as well as “paralanguage,” which refers to the aspects of your speech that are not words, such as tone, speaking pace, pauses and sighs, and facial expressions.

1. What Is Non-Verbal Communication?

Nonverbal communication is when you communicate with others without saying anything. This includes your body language and how you position yourself, as well as your facial expressions and other nonverbal cues that communicate with others. In most cases, you aren’t aware of your nonverbal communication because it is often the result of habits and unconscious acts. Your nonverbal communication can either support or contradict what you say verbally.

2. What Is the Role of Non-Verbal Support in an Interview?

Managers will not only listen to what you say during an interview, but they will also read your body language. Hand motions, eye contact, and facial expressions are all subtle nonverbal clues that convey a lot about how you’re feeling. The idea is to project a calm, comfortable, and confident demeanor through good body language and gestures. This powerful visual can help establish trust for what you’re saying during the interview.

3. Ways to Use Non-Verbal Support in an Interview

It’s critical to detect and monitor the messages you’re conveying with your body language and other nonverbal communication during an interview. What you say and how you act should be in sync. There are some ways to do that:

Express Interest

Nonverbal support during an interview can make a big difference. While the traditional approach is to say a word, a nonverbal expression can convey the same message. For example, it can be beneficial to lean forward during the interview, giving the impression that you’re engaged and paying attention to what the manager is saying. In addition, you can show positive nonverbal cues throughout the interview, such as smiling or having exciting energy when you’re speaking. To show that you’re interested in what your interviewer and other speakers are saying, use nonverbal communication.

a. Make direct eye contact with the person conducting the interview.

b. To boost your approachability, soften your features and unclench your jaw.

c. Nod softly to show that you agree with the speaker is saying.

d. When it’s appropriate, smile.

e. When something attracts your attention, raise your brows and tilt your head.

f. In your chair, lean forward.

Practice Your Non-Verbal Communication

 Consider holding a mock interview at a jobcentre or with a friend or family member before your interview. Request that they assess your nonverbal communication and body language to ensure that you’re conveying the right messages and not being distracted.

Use a Good Posture

For the best posture, stand up straight, keep your head up, and pull your shoulders back. This might convey self-assurance and expertise. Make sure you sit up straight and don’t slouch as you take your seat. You can demonstrate your curiosity by leaning forward a little. The idea is to come across as relaxed, confident, and passionate. Avoid any non-verbal cues that could be interpreted as apathy or desperation. Don’t lean back or fidget (you’ll come across as uncomfortable or immature), and don’t breach your interviewer’s personal space (you’ll come across as a stalker). Maintain a straight back and a tiny forward tilt toward the interviewer to demonstrate interest. Crossing your arms or placing them on your lap shows defensiveness, but crossing your arms or placing them on your lap indicates openness.

Show Good Gestures

Gestures may have different meanings depending on the place or culture. Use less dramatic motions instead of problematic gestures. To keep your hands engaged, try interlocking your fingers or keeping them on your lap.

Voice Tone, Eye Contact, and Handshake 

When talking to a potential employer, use the three basic communication methods: voice tone, eye contact, and handshake. Your voice tone and posture can indicate whether you’re interested or concerned. Similarly, you can demonstrate your interest by shaking their hands and avoiding eye contact. By practicing these tips before your interview, you’ll be able to make a positive impression on your future employer.

Follow Your Interviewer’s Lead

 While talking to a potential employer, don’t forget to watch their body language. Your facial expression can negatively convey a message, or it can send the opposite message. Avoiding eye contact or pounding a table can give the impression that you’re not interested in the position. When it comes to physical touch, follow your interviewer’s lead. Shaking hands and pats on the back are typical touching examples in interviews. Firm, powerful, and brief handshakes are recommended. During your interview, avoid initiating further interaction.

Avoiding Slang Language

 Remember to avoid slang and use a clear and natural tone. It is best to keep your body language unobtrusive and straightforward. This way, your potential employer will be able to gauge your level of interest. If you have questions, ask them about their work and their experience.

Manage Nervous Behavior

 During stressful situations such as job interviews, nervousness can show through your body language. Take deep breaths, say a calming or uplifting mantra before you arrive, and practice mindfulness to settle your anxiety. It’s natural to want to do something with your hands when you’re scared. If you find yourself reaching for your hair or biting your nails, resist the desire. Leg-shaking is the same way. You give off the impression that you’re nervous via your movements. You want to project a calm demeanor. It’s not necessary to sit exactly motionless. This is not an issue if you naturally talk with your hands. It’s your nervous habits that you must avoid.

Focus on the Interview 

If you wish to go over the information afterward, take notes during the interview. This demonstrates to the interviewer that you are serious about the job. Taking notes can also help you conceal shaky, nervous hands.

Review your notes and questions about the company while waiting for your interviewer. Be courteous and friendly if you’re near a receptionist or assistant, and react to any direct questions. Please avoid using your phone because it may indicate a lack of attention or that you are preoccupied.

Waiting for the Interview

 This can be the most nerve-wracking aspect, but it’s also your chance to start controlling your body language right away. You should be aware that the receptionist and others may be watching you. When you’re sitting or standing, pay attention to your posture. Maintain a straight back and neck, and stand or sit as still as possible. Keep your items on your left so you can quickly shake hands with individuals when the moment comes.

Dress Professionally

The first thing interviewers notice about you is your appearance. Professional attire and a nice, clean, well-groomed appearance can convey confidence, dedication to the task, and capability. Follow these suggestions to make the best first impression:

a. Dress for a position one level higher than the one you’re interviewing for.

b. Wear clothes that are clean, modest, and well-fitting.

c. Accessories should be kept to a minimum.

d. Make sure your shoes are free of scratches and are clean.

e. Consider hiding tattoos or body jewelry depending on the location.

4. What Are the Non-Verbal Cues Used at the End of the Interview?

Before leaving the interview, give the interviewer a solid handshake and a kind smile. Say your goodbyes to the receptionist and anyone else you spoke with throughout the interview on your way out.

It’s also crucial that you communicate verbally. Avoid using slang. Speak loudly and clearly. Keep your etiquette in mind, and thank the interviewer for taking the time to speak with you. Smile and shake hands with the interviewer when the interview is finished, and thank the interviewer and receptionist for their time. It’s just as essential to make an excellent last impression to make an excellent first impression. Stand up slowly, grab your belongings, smile, and shake the interviewer’s hand. Give the impression that you were delighted with the outcome of the interview.


As soon as you step through the office door, nonverbal communication becomes essential. If you arrive for an interview smelling like a cigarette or chewing gum, you’ve already earned one point. It’s also not a good idea to use too much perfume or not enough deodorant. You’ll get a second strike if you’re not appropriately dressed or if your shoes are damaged. While waiting to be summoned for the interview, talking on your phone or listening to music could be your final strike.

It’s critical to have a professional background and few distractions when participating in a video interview. Your professional presence will be assessed in the same way as it would be in a face-to-face interview. When interviewing, it’s crucial to maintain a professional, attentive, and confident demeanor throughout the process.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

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