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When preparing for interviews, you practice what to say, but it is also important to be aware of your body language. The nonverbal cues you give off can often speak louder than your words, especially if you are giving off negative vibes. What is your body language telling potential employers?

Your Handshake

Everyone makes judgments about you based on your handshake. Practice shaking hands with a friend or family member to understand how limp or strong your grip is, and adjust it accordingly. A limp handshake can be interpreted as insecurity or disinterest, while an overly strong grip or forceful shake can be a sign you are trying to establish dominance.

Your Facial Expressions

When you’re nervous or stressed out, it can be difficult to smile naturally, but this is an important skill to practice. Smiling is the universal signal for friendliness, and if you can’t seem to make yourself smile, it could be interpreted as a poor attitude or lack of interest in the job. If smiling naturally is difficult – which is true for many people – make sure you’re making good eye contact to convey interest in what the hiring manager has to say, even though you’re feeling nervous.

Your Posture

Make sure you are sitting up straight during the interview. Slouching demonstrates a lack of confidence or disinterest. Crossing your arms is often viewed as a defensive posture or an indication of deception. As you relax, you may find you naturally cross your arms or slouch a little but try to be cognizant of your posture and adjust it accordingly.

Your Gestures

Using your hands when you speak is a great way to emphasize a point or express your passion for a topic. However, when some people are nervous they either gesticulate wildly or they barely move their arms at all. Neither of these scenarios bodes well in an interview. Too much gesticulation can make it seem like you are attempting to shift your focus away from what you’re saying. Too little movement can make it seem like you are someone with a flat personality.

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