When you’re in a job interview, your body language matters. Certain actions or positions send signals to the hiring manager, giving them insights into your mood, confidence level, and much more. In many cases, the telltale movements happen without you even realizing it. Instead, they occur instinctively, and that isn’t always best.

Fortunately, by learning what different body language says to the interview, you can determine what positions or actions need to be avoided. Then, you can work to control your body language, ensuring you aren’t sending the wrong signals. If you aren’t sure where to start, here’s a look at what your body language is telling the hiring manager.

What is Your Body-Language Saying About You?

Crossed Arms

Crossing your arms in front of you is a defensive or protective posture. In many cases, a person crosses their arms to comfort or shield themselves. As a result, the position comes across as insecure or closed off, neither of which is good during an interview.

Since you want to seem open and confident when meeting with a hiring manager, make sure you keep your arms relaxed and to your sides. Think about keeping your chin up and chest open. That way, you seem receptive and engaged.

However, don’t feel that you need to keep your arms bolted to your sides. Instead, it’s fine to move them when speaking, as small gestures can show enthusiasm. Just make sure you aren’t repeating a particular motion, like tucking hair or touching your face, as those make you seem nervous.


When you slouch, you come across as unprofessional and disconnected. The posture is associated with boredom or disinterest and may even be viewed as disrespectful, depending on the severity and how the hiring manager interprets the position.

During an interview, your best bet is to sit up straight, leaning just a bit forward. With that position, you seem engaged and confident. Just make sure you don’t lean in too far, as that can feel a tad invasive. Instead, keep it subtle.


While being calm is a necessity during an interview, you don’t want to come across as emotionless. If your face isn’t expressing any emotions, there’s a chance the hiring manager will consider it unnerving. They may also doubt whether you’re understanding what they’re sharing or may wonder if you’re being authentic, as it can make it seem like you’re simply rehearsing answers from a script that is meaningless to you.

Instead, make sure that you allow some emotion to show on your face. Smile when you speak or when the hiring manager says something that’s intentionally amusing. As the interviewer talks, nod on occasion to show you’re engaged. Those simple gestures make you seem more genuine, so they work in your favor.


For many people, nervous energy emerges as fidgeting. Toe-tapping or leg shaking are common forms, as well as repeatedly moving a strand of hair or adjusting eyewear.

When you fidget, you seem anxious, distracted, or disinterested, depending on the other signals your sending. As a result, you want to make sure you avoid those movements. For foot or leg fidgeting, positioning something on your lap – like a folder holding your resume – may make you mindful. For arm or hand movements, intentionally placing your hands against an armrest or desk make work.

Need Help Landing a Great New Job?

Ultimately, all of the body languages above can be problematic, so you’ll want to avoid it during your interview. That way, you can make the best possible impression.

If you’d like to learn more about successful interviewing, the staff at TempStaff can help. Contact us today.

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