Using Nonverbal Communication to Ace an Interview

Acing a job interview takes a lot of preparation. After getting the invitation, you probably spend hours trying to figure out what questions you’ll be asked and crafting the perfect responses. This is of course very useful, but you mustn’t forget that you’re also being assessed on what you don’t say — and oftentimes this means the most. Find out how to use nonverbal communication to convince the hiring manager you’re the best choice for the job.


Present a Polished Appearance

You will be judged on your appearance, so take the time to present your best self. Dress professionally — even if the company has a casual dress code — keep makeup and jewelry to a minimum and go light on the fragrance. This is the very first impression the interviewer will get of you, so don’t let something trivial like forgetting to wear a tie, make you appear shoddy and keep you from getting the job.

Mirror the Interviewer

People feel comfortable with those who behave in a manner similar to themselves, so subtly mirror the actions of the interviewer to create a sense of trust. Carefully observe their facial expressions, tone of voice, posture and hand gestures, and use these to guide your own. This allows the interviewer to feel like you’re on the same page, which can increase your chances of receiving an offer.

Maintain Eye Contact

When you’re nervous in a job interview, it’s only natural to want to look at the floor, the walls and pretty much anywhere but at the person you’re talking to. You must work past this feeling, as poor eye contact is seen as a sign of lacking confidence, being dishonest or having no interest in the job. The interviewer will convey many nonverbal cues with their eyes, so if you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss out. Of course you don’t want to stare either, so do your best to maintain a natural amount of eye contact, and if there’s more than one interviewer, pay equal attention to everyone.

Appear Enthusiastic

No one wants to hire someone with a bad attitude. Display enthusiasm for the job by smiling regularly and actively nodding along while listening to the interviewer. Psych yourself up before the meeting by thinking about something that gets you really excited, so you walk in with an extra bounce in your step. Displaying a tasteful amount of animation shows the interviewer that you’re genuinely excited about the job and will give your all to the company, if hired.

Display Good Posture

Appear confident and attentive by sitting up straight in your chair, in a manner that appears natural. Stiff and rigid posture will make you seem closed off and rigid, while slouching may give the impression that you’re over confident. Be sure to sit back in the chair, as balancing on the edge can make you look anxious. It’s okay to vary your position during the meeting, but keep your legs uncrossed and your feet firmly planted on the floor.

Achieving interview success takes a lot of hard work. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find your next behavioral health position, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at

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