5 Feb

IT Interview Tips: Body Language Do’s and Don’ts

Posted by John Brandwagt

An interview is an opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise. You have the chance to talk more about what you can do and how your skills could benefit the employer.

Download "The 2017/2018 Salary Guide For Information Technology Professionals"

IT interviews can also be difficult. If you follow these IT interview tips, you’ll have a better chance of acing your interview.

One thing candidates need to pay particular attention to is their body language. These do’s and don’ts will guide you through the interview.

Do: Convey Interest

Your body does a lot of talking when you’re in an interview, which is why many IT interview tips focus on what to do and what not to do when you’re interviewing for a position. For example, you can convey interest or a lack of interest just by the way you sit.

Do sit up straight. You may even want to lean forward slightly. Make eye contact with your interviewer. Show you’re engaged with what they’re saying by nodding occasionally. You may also want to adjust your facial expression. If the interviewer cracks a joke, a smile is appropriate.

All of this helps convey your interest to the interviewer. Slouching or slumping, looking around the room or out of a window, and similar body language signals to the interviewer you’re not interested or paying attention to what they’re saying.

Do: Talk with Your Hands

There’s a mixed consensus on this body language tip for IT interviews. Some people say you absolutely should talk with your hands. Others say you should avoid doing so as much as possible.

The key here is moderation. Gesticulating, or “talking with your hands,” accentuates your point. It can also make you seem more open and friendly. As an added bonus, it makes you more engaging as a speaker. Too much, however, can quickly become distracting for your audience.

Practice your interview in front of a mirror before you go. See how much you use your hands when you’re talking. If the answer is not at all, try adding a few motions. If your hands are a flurry of motion, you may want to scale back.

Don’t: Cross Your Arms

Crossing your arms is a bad sign. So is sticking your hands in your pockets. These signs can convey boredom and disinterest, along with a closed nature. Crossing your arms is a protective move. It puts a physical barrier between you and the interviewer and “closes” you off from them.

Talking with your hands is a great idea for this reason. It keeps your hands out of your pockets and allows you to resist the urge to cross your arms. It makes you seem open and friendly.

Don’t: Fidget

Are you swinging your leg to and fro? Maybe you’re curling a strand of hair around your finger. Maybe you just can’t get comfortable, so you’re fidgeting in your seat. Almost everyone has a nervous tic that shows up during the interview.

It’s why so many IT interview tips focus on body language. You should most definitely resist the urge to fidget. Instead, keep your hands busy by holding a pen (resist the urge to click or tap it) and jotting down some notes. When it’s your turn to talk, use your hands. Keep your feet planted firmly on the floor.

Do: Match Your Expression

While the position of your arms and feet are important, your face probably conveys the most “body language” to your interviewer. Ensure your facial expression lines up with what you’re saying. Smiling as you describe tensions with co-workers or a difficult decision could make your interviewer uncomfortable, for example.

Be careful about how much eye contact you make and how long you hold it too. You’re a great person with many soft skills. Prove it to your interviewer by using these IT interview tips for body language.


Topics: IT Jobs

John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

Find me on: