Your body gives you away during an Interview – Watch out!

I personally never used to believe that you can gauge a person in about 20 minutes. I thought it was too much judging of a person who is in their best behavior. All this changed once I shifted to the other end of the table. I started becoming more and more vigilant, not of the answers given, but of the body language.

And it is surprising how much can be revealed in just 20 minutes by observing the body language of a person. And conversely, these are exactly the points one needs to train themselves in while attending an interview.

Sitting Posture

The way you sit in a chair can give you away to a large extent. Sitting at the end of the chair is suggestive of being edgy and denotes apprehension.

While sitting way far behind, reclining completely with hands at the back is suggestive of a laid back feeling. Sitting with legs crossed, and the foot kicking is suggestive of boredom. Sitting with legs apart reflects an open and relaxed nature.

The right position while giving an interview would be to sit upright, legs straight and palms placed on legs.

Body language – Interviewee

While most of us begin this way, there are some blatant giveaways that are difficult to control and extremely useful to form an opinion. I will try to list a few of those gestures over here.

Walk – A brisk and erect walk portrays confidence, while walking with head bowed down and stooped shoulders portrays dejection

Stand – Standing with hands on hips is suggestive of an aggressive behavior while standing with legs locked is suggestive of apprehension

Arms – Arms crossed across the chest shows defensiveness, while arms crossed over the head shows superiority

Hands – While rubbing the hand over the cheek is suggestive of thinking or evaluation, touching and rubbing the nose is suggestive of doubt or lying.

Look – Looking to the left portrays recollection while looking to the right portrays guess work / making up stories.

Eye Contact – Maintaining an eye contact is suggestive of confidence while looking away is suggestive of insecurity. People sometimes stare rather than maintaining eye contact. This is suggestive of practicing a confident posture rather than actually being confident.

Smile – A genuine smile causes tightness around the eyes and is indicative of a friendly person, whereas a smile which only causes the lips to stretch is indicative of an apprehensive person who does not make friends easily.

Body Language – Interviewers

And now a sure shot giveaway whether you have made an impression on the interviewer could be to observe their lips while they are making notes. So, how to read these signs?

  • Pursed lips are indicative of disapproval while pinching the bridge of the nose is indicative of a negative evaluation
  • If someone is stroking their chin, they may not be sure and maybe trying to make a decision and so is pulling or tugging at the ear
  • Tapping or drumming fingers while waiting for an answer is suggestive of impatience while quickly tilted head is suggestive of interest.


The best way to present yourself would be to stand erect, walk straight and keep your interest alive. Body language is something that cannot be practiced but is an automatic gesture. Therefore, you are bound to throw it away in some way or the other if you are trying to fake it.

So, rather than faking a body language, one could try to develop the trait that you are trying to inculcate. Also, studies suggest that training your body language can help you change your character too!

Read more tips on body language at – 5 tips on perfecting body language


About the Author

Supriya Mothay is a Chartered accountant by profession, with a passion to write. Being an amateur poet and creative writer, she now blogs on topics on finances, lifestyle and mythology. She likes to relate little philosophies to life and has a capability to break down trivial issues at the granular level and arrive at innovative solutions.

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