Mind Your Body Language and Tone of Voice During an Interview

John Krautzel
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Don't forget about body language and tone of voice when prepping for a job interview. Even the best answers are unlikely to make up for a lack of engagement. Conversely, a pleasant tone of voice and charming demeanor may win you the position even if you are not as experienced as other applicants. Here are a few ways to improve your body language for better interviews to help you get the position you deserve.

Open Body Position

Your job interview starts as soon as you arrive at the organization's building. Stand up straight and walk with confidence. When you get into the interviewing room, mind your sitting posture while still staying relaxed and open. To avoid putting a barrier between yourself and the interviewer, set your briefcase, portfolio or purse on the floor next to your chair instead of on your lap. Keeping your arms casually apart and your chest area open with your shoulders down gives you a receptive look to help put the hiring manager at ease.

Active Listening

Body language is an important part of active listening. Casually mimicking the posture and positioning of the interviewer is a powerful way to form a connection between the two of you. Just be sure to not overdo it. Continue to keep your shoulders back and your arms uncrossed for openness. Nod your head periodically and maintain casual eye contact to show that you are paying attention. Taking notes on anything important is another way to show you are present and care about the information being shared.

Pleasant Voice Tone

Sometimes your tone of voice conveys more than your actual words. Get some friends or family members to listen to your voice during practice interviews, checking to make sure that your tone is pleasant and friendly. During the actual interview, be sure to keep your mind on your words to ensure your tone is appropriate for your responses. Although most of the time you want an animated and engaged expression, serious topics require a soberer tone. Avoid talking too quickly so you can keep your voice under control, concentrating on breathing normally between answers to help you stay relaxed. A relaxed tone of voice works together with relaxed body language to keep the focus of the interview on the content of your conversation and not your anxiety.

Appropriate Smiling

Add smiling to your relaxed and open body language to create a pleasant mood for a better interview and to show the interviewer that you are someone who would be an asset to the work environment. A smile also helps you relax when you are feeling stressed or anxious, allowing you to share your best side. On the other hand, watch out for false, stiff smiles, which make it look like you are trying too hard.

Remember that many interviewers make up their mind about your value as a potential employee during the first few moments of your interview. That is the most important time to use confident body language and pleasant tone of voice. Leave your interview with a similar confident stride so that your interviewer remembers you at your best.


Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Clayton B thanks for your comment. Sorry you got turned down for the position. Consider it as a training for your next interview. The fact that you got called back for a 2nd interview shows a lot. Did HR tell you why you didn't get the position - something other than another candidate was better suited for the position? You could always ask them why if they didn't tell you. It's 50/50 chance whether they will respond or not. All the best on your next interview!

  • clayton b.
    clayton b.

    I did all this even the 2nd interview went fine. It was HR that turned me down.

  • Richard M.
    Richard M.

    I went to a interview the other day and man it was a breeze. I did what was said by and the interviewer gave me a thumbs-up. that she will let the manager know and well get in contact with me.

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