job-saying-web-300x300So you’ve done everything you think you need to do for your next interview. You’ve studied common interview questions, you’ve researched the Company website, you’ve ironed your suit, and you’ve brushed your teeth, and on and on. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret: What you DO in an interview is almost as important as what you actually SAY. So, look out for these non-verbal cues that can help or hurt you in that important interview.


Smile-300x300Remember, Humans have emotions, so show these in an interview. Think about the job you’re interviewing for. Is it a sales job? Then SMILE. Is it a Customer Service job, then SMILE. Is it a job where you’ll work with other Humans like yourself? Then just SMILE. Don’t be afraid to show your personality. A good interview is a conversation, not an interrogation. Hiring managers want good people, not robots. Smiling is the easiest way to show you may be a nice person to work with forty hours a week.


Poor eye contact can signify that you aren’t paying attention, or even worse, not even interested in the position. Also, too much eye contact can be intimidating and turn the interview into a staring contest. So, keep your eye contact casual, not creepy.


We’ve all had one. The limp or “fish” handshake. It’s too soft and it’s weird. Don’t do it. And then there’s the “handshake of steel”. It’s way too hard and projects arrogance. Just give a quick, firm, normal handshake and you’ll be just fine. Practice it with a friend and before you know it, you’ll be ready for that new job, or a career in Politics.


Tapping a foot, shaking your leg, cracking knuckles, clicking a pen, twirling a strand of hair, fiddling with papers. These are all things I have seen a candidate do way too much of in an interview. It’s distracting and takes attention away from you and what you’re saying. I once interviewed a woman who played with her hair so much, I thought she was auditioning for Disney’s Tangled.


Bring your resume, bring a pen, and bring a small notepad. That’s pretty much all you need unless you’re interviewing for a job where portfolios of artwork are involved. There is no reason to bring your backpack, your briefcase, your huge lanyard of keys, your $30 dollar BPA-free water bottle, or any other non-essential item to an interview. Keep it simple. This is about you, not your stuff.


It should go without saying that you shouldn’t overdo it on cologne, aftershave or perfume at a job interview–but you’d be surprised how many times it happens. One job seeker had on so much perfume that employees were sneezing and wiping away tears. I guess if there was a plus, the corporate office smelled like petunias for hours. Managers should remember you, not your perfume.


Success-Starts-Here-web-300x226While hiring decisions based solely on a candidate’s nonverbal communication alone don’t happen, knowing these mistakes can help you to see the big picture of how one can be perceived in an interview. As humans, we use non-verbal cues every day; with friends, family and the people we meet around town. Increase your chances of interview success and be aware of how you communicate, verbally and non-verbally, and avoid these mistakes. Happy interviewing!