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5 Body Language Mistakes to Avoid in Interviews

Non-verbal cues can make or break an interview. This list of body language mistakes compiled by Jacquelyn Smith for Forbes will help you avoid unintentionally sending the wrong message.

  1. Bad handshake. Ideally, your handshake should be firm yet not overbearing. "The secret to a great handshake is palm-to-palm contact," said body language expert Patti Wood to Forbes. "Slide your hand down into the web of theirs and make palm-to-palm contact. Lock thumbs with the hiring manager, and apply as much pressure as he or she does."
  2. Close-talker. Respect your interviewer's personal space. Avoid standing too closely to him or her.
  3. Defensive postures. Avoid crossing your arms at all costs. Instead, talk with your hands to engage your interviewer and convey your enthusiasm.
  4. Fidgeting. Avoid bombarding your interviewer with distractions like asymmetrical body language, biting your nails or playing with your hair. Focus on making eye contact when your interviewer addresses you. "It's okay for the candidate to look away when he or she is talking," said Wood. "It's normal to look around when you're speaking because you're accessing different parts of the brain by moving your eyes. But be attentive and make eye contact when the interviewer is speaking."
  5. Looking uninterested. Avoid checking your phone or watch during your interview. Pay close attention to your facial expressions, both while you talk and while you listen to others speak.

What body language gaffes would you add to these?

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(Photo credit: buddawiggi/Flickr)

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