5 Ways Bad Body Language Could Cost you the Job


Did you know your body language could cost you the job? Often a Hiring Manager can decide whether they want to hire you or not within the first minute and a half of the interview. It can take as little as some bad body language for them to make their decision, so why isn’t body language something we consider as part of our interview preparation? Ever heard of “first impressions count”? You don’t even have to say anything, if you have bad body language it could be the end of the road for this job interview.

Here are a few body language tips that could save you the interview.

1 Handshakes

Have you ever received a clammy handshake? Or maybe an awkwardly long handshake? If this is the way you are greeting your interviewer on your way in it can get you off to an awkward start. It’s only natural to be nervous before any interview, unfortunately clammy hands can often come with nerves. So why not get there a little earlier, take some time to cool off and consider wiping your palm on a tissue or handkerchief.

But how to avoid the long awkward handshake? Give a firm 2 shakes however, not too firm to crush their hand but also not too weak either. Looking them in the eye while shaking your interviewers hand is very polite and helps create the initial connection with them.

2 Bad posture

Ever thought your posture could eliminate you from the Hiring Managers process? Well it can. Things like leaning back in your chair, perhaps sliding down your chair – this can give the impression to the Hiring Manager that you would much rather be elsewhere. Maybe you have found your self slouching and a bit slumped in your chair while in an interview. This can make you look overwhelmed and perhaps even that you are lacking in confidence which can be particularly bad when you are trying to show them you are the right person for the job. But generally, a bad posture can just be disrespectful, so what could you do instead?

Consider sitting up straight firmly in the back of your seat, this will show the interviewer you are ready and raring to go. You could even think about leaning slightly forward (but not slouching) as a sign of eagerness and to show you are ready to listen.

3 Guarding yourself

Its only natural to become uncomfortable within an interview and often a natural reaction to this is to guard yourself by crossing your arms. This has the potential to either give off negative messages or can make you look uncertain and unsure. You want to look certain in an interview to allow the Hiring Manager to believe you are the right person for the job. If you aren’t certain, how will they believe you are?

Instead of guarding yourself, why not try sitting with your arms relaxed in your lap or on the chair arms ready to be used when speaking to help give a more dynamic approach to the questions asked.

4 Eye contact

Having good eye contact with your interviewer can portray good manners and likeability. Maintaining a natural eye contact with them can help show your interest and also your appreciation for them taking their time to see you.

The key is to begin eye contact early, through the handshake, this will initially start a positive relationship and be sure to smile too. Continue to maintain this throughout showing you are confident. If you look away while the interviewer is speaking or asking you a question it can come across like you are perhaps losing interest.

If there is more than one interviewer present, you should make eye contact with the person who is speaking to you or has asked you the question. Be sure to spread your attention though don’t just look at one of them the whole time.

Be careful not to come across like you are staring though, this could be creepy and make it awkward, just be natural and friendly and break and reconnect the eye contact as naturally as possible.

5 Fiddling

What are the most annoying fiddly things you could do in an interview?

Clicking or chewing your pen? Twiddling at a ring or bracelet? Twirling your hair, or beard? Touching your ear? Shaking your leg? Tapping the desk? Biting your nails?

These things can seriously annoy your interviewer! So, what could you do instead to be more cautious that you don’t end up doing any of these? Sit calmly in your chair resting your arms on your lap or on your chair arms. This allows your arms to be free to give your answers a more dynamic approach. When you use movement expressions appropriately while you are speaking it can make you appear to come across a lot more passionate about what you are saying.

Don’t let your interviewer dismiss you before you’ve even started by adding some simple body language techniques to your interview preparation. This could cost you the job!


If you would like any further advice or support in finding that dream role in social care, then we would be happy to consult with you and find you that perfect organisation. Simply give us a call on 03305 552 211 and one of our dedicated consultants would be happy to help you achieve your aspirations.