Dressing up and Body Language for Job Interviews

Dressing up and body language while facing the interview

To make a good impression dress conservative and clean cut, wear clothes appropriate to the culture, keep jewellery to a minimum, no after-shave or perfume, clean shoes, suits dry-cleaned if worn, overall cleanliness, hands, nails etc. Practice good hygiene, comb or brush your hair, and dress appropriately. Even if you know that the company dress is business-casual, dress up anyway. It shows professionalism and respect.

Dress conservatively and avoid bright, flashy colors. Navy blue or gray is usually best but wear colors in which you feel confident. Interviewers might be offended by strong body smell. Don't wear strong perfume. Fragrance is a matter of personal preference and your interviewer might not like your choice. It's best to have soft perfume a few minutes before the interview; a little mouthwash may be good.

Body Language

Remember body speaks louder than words. Body language comprises 55% of the force of any response. Verbal content only provides 7% paralanguage, or the intonation, pauses and sighs given when answering, represents 38% of the emphasis.

How to Act During Interviews

Greet them as per time of day. Smile and have a firm handshake if offered. Read the mood. If the interviewer is formal, then you probably should be, too. If the interviewer is casual, then follow along while remaining courteous and professional. Wait to be told to take a seat and say thank you.
If it's possible, scoot your chair a little closer to the interviewer's desk or take the chair closet to the desk. This shows interest and confidence. But don't invade the interviewer's personal space, a perimeter of about two to three feet is ok. Sit with good posture.
Even formally trained interviewers are regular people like you, so they'll expect you to be a little nervous while sitting in the hot seat. Still, try to avoid obvious signs.
Maintain comfortable eye contact with the interviewer as failure to maintain eye contact indicates that you are lying, reaching for answers or lacking confidence. Take your time to answer questions - this will prevent you from providing a poor answer. Speak clearly and thoughtfully - be sure to speak at an appropriate volume and do not speak too quickly
If the interviewer offers coffee or other beverages, it's okay to accept if he insists otherwise say no thanks. It's probably better to say no thanks to snacks.

How to Sit at Interview

With the upper limbs the guideline is that the less a person moves their hands and arms, the more powerful they are. This supports the view that they are used to people listening to them and they therefore do not have to resort to gesticulation to get their point across.
Try to keep your hands lower than your elbows, rest them on the arms of the chair.
Try to gauge interviewers' preferred distance by their seating arrangements. Move closer only if they seem skeptical about what you're saying.

Where you sit, too, is as important as how you sit.

If you are sitting on the edge of the seat it can make you look eager but also scared, like you are ready to bolt out of the room. Go ahead and slide to the back of the chair and sit tall and straight. That will make you look confident and comfortable.
Girls should not cross their legs and instead sit with their knees together. Men should avoid sitting with their legs too wide apart.
Anything that creates an intimacy before there's a rapport established will signal to the interviewer that you don't use good judgment and that you resort to inappropriate behavior.

Here are some typical interpretations of body language.

Openness and Warmth:Open-lipped smiling, Open hands with palms visible.

Confidence: Leaning forward in chair chin up, Hands joined behind back when standing.

Nervousness: Jiggling pocket contents, running tongue along front of teeth, clearing throat, hands touching the face or covering part of the face, pulling at skin or ear, running fingers through hair, wringing hands, biting on pens or other objects, twiddling thumbs, biting fingernails. Looking at your watch very frequently. Nervous hand habits, like nail biting, hair twirling and hand twitching, can distract the interviewer and, convey nervousness and insecurity.

Untrustworthy/Defensive: Frowning, squinting eyes, tight-lipped grin, arms crossed in front of chest, chin down, touching nose or face, darting eyes, looking down when speaking, clenched hands, gestures with fist, pointing with fingers, chopping one hand into the open palm of the other, rubbing back of neck, clasping hands behind head while leaning back in the chair.

Interpretation of Various Postures
Crossed arms - means that the person is in a defensive and reserved mood.