Using Nonverbal Communication to Get a Job

Nonverbal CommunicationIt’s common knowledge that your answers are what matter the most in a job interview. The truth, however, is that that’s only half the story. Interviewers also check for nonverbal cues, which help them decide whether to hire you or not.


In fact, sometimes nonverbal cues are more important than your verbal responses. They can turn an average answer into a great one because they give it more life. So, if you haven’t been paying attention to what you’re communicating nonverbally, you can start improving it with these tips.

Before the interview

What you look like – The employer is not looking for a model or A-list star. What they’re looking for is a professional who can help their business succeed. You don’t have to worry about looking beautiful; it’s about having a professional persona.

What you smell like – What should be a common sense is, surprisingly, not common at all. Do whatever it takes to avoid going to an interview smelling bad or wearing a strong perfume or cologne.

What you have with you – Showing up to a job interview empty-handed is not recommended. You should always have something with you, such as extra copies of your resume, a portfolio, or work samples.

Waiting for the interview – When you’re waiting for your interviewer to call you into his office, you want to be polite and greet everyone you come across. You don’t know who might be watching you, and a little extra effort won’t hurt. Always wait patiently and avoid doing things that can make you look like you’d rather be elsewhere.

Greeting the interviewer – As you see the interviewer approaching, stand and walk with confidence while establishing eye contact and offering your hand. This is your first and last chance to make your first impression, so make it count.

In the interview

Proper posture – As you take your seat, remember to sit up straight while leaning a bit forward to show your interest. Leaning back is not an option because it makes you seem too relaxed. Always keep everything natural and comfortable to show that you’re really enjoying the opportunity.

Hands and feet movement – In tense interview situations, it’s usually the hands and feet that move too much. The best thing to do is position your feet naturally where they’re comfortable while keeping your hands on the table. Hands gestures are fine as long as you don’t overdo it.

Eye contact – There is nothing worse than eye contact that conveys disinterest or nervousness. If you’re someone who is not used to eye contact, start practicing it in normal social situations.

After the interview

As the interviewer guides you on your way out, make sure to shake their hand and smile while thanking them for their time.

Now you can walk confidently toward the exit, knowing that with the right nonverbal communication, you just set yourself up for a better shot at landing the job.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.