4 Body Language Tips for Your Next Job Interview

May 27th 2015

Laura Donovan

The Class of 2015 faces an intimidating job market, so new graduates have to be very thoughtful in approaching the interview process. It goes without saying that you should walk into interviews with good questions, knowledge of the company's background, and confidence that you're up to the challenge. Presentation also goes a long way and can make or break an interview, so here's how to look and feel capable when meeting with prospective employers.

1. Solid eye contact.

Career expert Allison Hemming told the Chicago Tribune in 2013 that eye contact sends the message to interviewers that you're communicative, engaged, and trustworthy.

“Human interaction is critical in the workplace,” Hemming said. “If you can’t look someone in the eye during an interview and have a conversation, then the interviewer will think that you have a problem communicating — or worse, that you’re not being truthful with them about your work experiences.”

This doesn't mean you need to maintain eye contact for an uncomfortably long period of time. A few breaks in contact are fine as long as it's clear you're paying attention and really thinking about what your prospective employer is saying.

Career adviser Jeffrey Ory added that positive facial expressions help as well so you're not merely staring at the other person in the room.

"The fine line is actually what the rest of your body is doing,” Ory said. “Good eye contact should be accompanied by a smile, or else you’ll just be staring, which makes most people feel rather uncomfortable."

2. No big physical gestures.

This is tough for people who consider themselves physically expressive. (I tend to wave my hands around when I speak and tell stories, which can be distracting and potentially embarrassing because I sometimes knock things over in otherwise polite conversation.)

That's why “charisma coach” Cynthia Burnham advises against big physical gestures in interviews -- no matter how passionate you may be about the discussion at hand.

“Avoid chopping gestures,” Burnham told Forbes in 2012. “Whole arm karate chop gestures can psychologically cut up the space between you ad your interview in an aggressive way.”

3. Good posture.

It's easy to fall into a slouching position, especially since many of us spend the majority of our days at a desk. However, resist the urge to slump over in job interviews! Sitting up straight not only shows you're alert and confident, but can make you look taller.

"Whether you are walking, sitting or standing, a straight back posture is the best looking, most professional pose," Lisa Panarello, founder of Careers Advance, told CBS News in 2013.

YMCA personal trainer Susan Buonviri says you can achieve perfect posture by pretending you're wearing a corset.

"Think of having a corset around our mid-section that kind of forces everything up and causes us to sit up a little bit taller," Buonviri told

While maintaining good posture be sure to lean in a little bit to show you're paying close attention to the interviewer.

4. Dress well but comfortably.

As a somewhat tall female, I've never been a fan of high heels. On top of making me feel like an Amazonian lady, they are painful, difficult to walk in, damaging to one's health. In recent years, I've decided to wear heels to job interviews, and I've been much more comfortable as a result.

"If you're not comfortable or you don't have a lot of practice with walking in heels, it's probably best to opt for another type of clean and professional footwear," Amanda Haddaway, director of human resources for Folcomer Equipment Corporation told CBS News. "Chances are good that during the interview, you'll need to walk to an office or conference room, so if you can't do that successfully in heels, don't wear them."

During interviews, you want to focus on your exchange with prospective employers, not the way your shoes or clothes make you feel.