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Career

10 body language tips to score you the job

When you're in a job interview, it's not just what you say that counts. Body language plays a huge role in how we're perceived.
"A candidate can give out thousands of non-verbal cues within the first minute of an interview," says Jane McNeill, director of Hays.
"And those messages can make more of an impact than the words that you use during the interviews."
Try to keep these in mind for the next time you're in the hotseat.
1. Dress smart
Know what style of dress – uniformed, smart casual or corporate - is appropriate for the job you want. If in doubt, err on the side of business style rather than under-dress.
"You need to appear in moderate dress," says Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) chairman, Peter Wilson. "You can always correct an overdress but you can't correct for an underdress."
2. Gesticulate
Show your passion. If you have great ideas but hide your enthusiasm with stiff body language, other people won't believe your ideas.
"Don't be afraid to gesture as it shows that you're enthusiastic and expressive," says McNeill. "The interviewer can read how open and honest you are by looking at your hands."
3. Smile, but keep it natural
"A smile is one of the very best ways to communicate sincerity and a friendly, approachable demeanour," says McNeill.
4. Sit upright
Wilson suggests sitting as you would in a yoga class. "Sitting calmly and upright," he says. Sitting too far forward looks too eager while slouching makes you look disinterested.
5. Use props, like water
If they offer a drink, take it as it will convey that you are confident and relaxed. "It can also be used as a prop to perhaps give you some time to answer a difficult question", says McNeill.
6. It's all in the eyes
"Make eye contact, but don't stare," says Wilson. Staring for an extended period can make your interviewer uncomfortable so simply hold their gaze for a second longer before breaking away.
7. Keep an open posture
"Don't cross your arms or hide your hands as it can make you look defensive or uncomfortable," says McNeill. Keep them open and resting lightly in your lap.
8. Don't fidget
"Don't play with change in your pocket, bite your nails or let your leg become restless or the interviewer will sense that you feel uneasy," says McNeill.
"Avoid touching your face and hair as it's considered a stress comfort cue," says McNeill.
9. Nerves are normal
If you're a little nervous, don't worry. It's expected. "Most employers recognise that you're going to be a little on edge because you want to do your best," says Wilson. Remember to slow down. If you need to take a moment, take it. It's important to be in control rather than letting yourself ramble.
10. Practice
Remember: Practice makes perfect. McNeill recommends that you practice entering and leaving a room and how you will say hello and goodbye to the interviewer. Before the interview, practice different poses in front of a mirror. Good luck!
For more interview tips, check out the SEEK website.

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