Career | Does body language during job interviews matter?

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What do you do with your hands when asked a question? Did you slouch in the seat during your last interview? According to career experts, we should be questioning and focusing our energies on correcting our body language when vying for jobs.

Body language is often the last thing we think about during interviews. Does it really matter if you do not make eye contact when you are trying to present the best answers? Apparently it does.

Your body language – both positive and negative – can tell a lot about you and your general demeanour. And if it does not emit the right message, there is the danger that your dream job can slip away from you.

There are some basic elements to positive body language that you should remain conscious of. Before you enter the interviewing room, ask if you can leave your coat or other unnecessary items in reception. You want to walk into a room smartly and with a smile, and not worrying about where to offload your outerwear.

Find out the names of those that will be interviewing you beforehand. Address each interviewer by name and shake hands, while maintaining eye contact at all times.

Ensure that you are seated near the interviewers to maintain this eye contact and ensure that you sit up straight in the chair. Never fold your arms as this can look quite defensive.

When answering a question, always say it with a smile and make sure to look from one person to another to include everyone in your answers.

Never repeat the question that you are asked. This can be seen as a stalling tactic or that you are surprised by the question.

When the interview is finally over, shake hands with a smile, thank them for the time and leave smartly.