Survey reveals top body language mistakes candidates make in job interviews

RP news wires
Tags: talent management, business management

Job seekers with shifty eyes, reluctant smiles or fidgety limbs in an interview may be hurting their chances of landing a job. A new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,500 hiring managers reveals that failure to make eye contact (67 percent), lack of smile (38 percent) and fidgeting too much (33 percent) would make them less likely to hire someone. The CareerBuilder survey was conducted between May 18 and June 3, 2010.

When asked overall what additional body language mistakes would make them less likely to hire job candidates, hiring managers reported the following:

  • Bad posture – 33 percent
  • Handshake that is too weak – 26 percent
  • Crossing arms over their chest – 21 percent
  • Playing with their hair or touching their face – 21 percent
  • Using too many hand gestures – 9 percent

"In a highly competitive job market, job seekers need to set themselves apart in the interview stage," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "All that pressure, though, may have some job seekers making body language mistakes that don’t convey a confident message. To avoid these faux pas, and ensure you're remembered for the right reasons, try practicing ahead of time in front of a mirror or family and friends."

Haefner offers the following tips to avoid body language missteps during an interview:

Keep calm – To make the best impression and avoid nervous body language, take measures to stay as calm as possible before the interview. Leave the house with plenty of time to get to the interview, avoid caffeine if possible and take deep, calming breaths.

Practice makes perfect – The old adage proves true in this case, as you’ll feel more comfortable the more you prepare for the interview, and in turn, it will help decrease your anxiety. Rehearse ahead of time with friends or family, do your homework on the company and be prepared for common interview questions.

See for yourself – Viewing yourself while speaking can help you notice what body language mistakes you might be making without realizing. Look in a mirror while practicing interview responses or videotape yourself to figure out your typical physical movements, and whether or not you need to change them. 

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