5 Problematic Job Interview Postures

While there are several factors that can contribute to or detract from your ability to perform well in a job interview, your posture can be particularly important. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that posture is a form of nonverbal communication that employers consciously and unconsciously evaluate when forming perceptions about your personality and aptitude for the position to which you apply. In recognizing this principle, there are several postures that you should think critically about. Some of them include:

  1. Leaning Forward
    For the most part, leaning forward is an excellent posture to adopt, especially if you only lean forward slightly. In general, leaning forward is taken as an indication of your interest in the conversation that is transpiring. It is also often interpreted as the fact that you are an active listener who wants to ensure that you're processing all of the information being disseminated correctly. However, be wary of leaning forward too far-this can be taken as a tactic of aggression and even intimidation.
  2. Crossed Arms
    Crossed arms are almost always viewed as a negative posture to adopt during a job interview. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that they are categorized as a form of nonverbal communication indicating an argumentative or defiant disposition. Given that these characteristics are generally not ideal for work environments predicated upon teamwork and synergy, it's a good idea to avoid the act of crossing your arms.
  3. Slouching
    Slouching is almost always recognized as a sign of disinterest, laziness, and/or poor health. For all of these reasons, it is the type of posture you should avoid at all costs when you go in for an interview. To ensure that you don't slouch, get in the habit of sitting up straight by aligning your back and shoulders. Also practice steady breathing, which can help prevent you from leaning over.
  4. Body Alignment
    When you prepare for a job interview, it's a good idea to position your body towards the interviewer. This is generally viewed as a sign of deference because it indicates that the individual has captured your focus. Also note that if you are being interviewed by two people, you can periodically angle your body at 45 degrees to demonstrate respect for both individuals.
  5. Facial Disposition
    Although you may not think that facial disposition constitutes a type of posture, it is viewed as a bodily component that can function as a form of nonverbal communication. Since this is the case, there are several concepts pertaining to the face that you should be aware of. First, cocking your head to the side slightly when listening is viewed as an indication that you are interested in what the interviewer is saying and are trying to hear each word clearly. Additionally, raising your eyebrows is generally recognized as a sign that you are curious about what is being said. On the other hand, lowered eyebrows are viewed as an indication of negative emotions like fear or confusion. Finally, pursing your lips is viewed as a manifestation of anger. For this reason, pressing your lips together during your job interview is almost always a bad idea.

If you are interested in performing well in your next job interview, you should know that consciously controlling your posture can help you accomplish this objective. By recognizing the role that the aforementioned postures can play in affecting how you are viewed by your interviewer, you can make the adjustments necessary to ensure that she or he concludes that you are an ideal job candidate. Good luck!

Last Updated: April 15, 2015