An impressive resume and stellar cover letter can be tossed in minutes if a candidate shows poor body language during an interview.

Body Language Mistakes

Body language is a crucial part of life. This nonverbal communication can have a big impact on how people are perceived, especially in the professional world. According to a nationwide survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder, it doesn’t take long to make a decision during an interview. Half of the 2,500 employers surveyed said it only takes minutes to determine if the candidate is a good fit, and body language plays a big role in whether or not a candidate moves forward.

An interview comes with a lot of nerves and even stress, but remember to carry and express yourself well and avoid these common body language mistakes.

No eye contact: If you avoid making eye contact with others you’re interacting with, you can come off insecure, untrustworthy or uninterested. In fact, research says you should keep eye contact at least 50% of the time while speaking and 70% while listening.

Failing to smile: Body language expert Tonya Reiman, author of “The Power of Body Language, says smile demonstrates confidence, warmth, openness, and energy. “It also sets off the mirror neurons in your listener, instructing them to smile back. Without the smile, an individual is often seen as grim or aloof.”

Playing with something on the desk: While playing with something can calm nerves with some individuals this gesture can give an impression of being bored or uninterested. Instead, keep palms visible during an interview and try not to fidget or more around too much.

Bad posture: Posture is something you should always be aware of, not just in an interview but in life. “People don’t realize that the job interview begins in the waiting room, but it does. So don’t slouch in the chair in the reception area,” Reiman said. To show confidence and warmth, you should sit up straight and stand tall. Th

Playing with hair or touching face: Try avoiding the urge to touch your face or play with your hair during an interview. This can make you look guilty of something or as if you’re hiding something from the interviewer. Even if you have an itchy nose, just don’t do it.

Closed Off: Concealing your body whether it be crossing your arms, legs or slumping inward can make you look dishonest, angry, cold, or unsatisfied. Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of “SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma advises to keep hands in view when speaking to others. “When a listener can’t see your hands, they wonder what you are hiding,” she said. Instead try to keep your body language warm and open, with your hands in plain sight.

Weak Handshakes: Having a weak or limp handshake can be a sign of nervousness or lack of confidence. To avoid this body language mistake, your handshake should be firm yet not overpowering, and make palm-to-palm contact.

 Too many hand gestures: It’s great to be passionate and illustrate important facts through hand gestures, but using too many can be distracting. Staying too still can come off cold but be aware of how many hand gestures you’re using, you don’t want to go overboard!
Body language can make or break an interview but sometimes you don’t realize how your body language communicates to others. Be aware and avoid these common body language mistakes so you can show you’re the right person for the job!