Unlocking Body Language during a Job Interview

When interviewing candidates for a job, it is imperative that you consider every aspect of communication. While listening and conversing with the candidate can provide you with answers about the candidate’s experiences and qualification, body language can offer a better insight into the interviewee’s personality and character.

Unlocking the non-verbal communication of a candidate can be challenging therefore recruiters are advised to be careful and refrain from jumping to conclusions. While it is advised to carefully consider body language during an interview, recruiters should not base their final hiring decision on this.

Non-verbal communication can be judged through these 3 aspects:


The first contact between the candidate and the recruiter is through their initial handshake. Extend your hand towards the interviewee and wait for them to grip it. A weak and sweaty handshake immediately indicates a nervous candidate who feels intimidated easily. You should try putting them at ease by taking the lead in the interview, thus providing them with a few minutes to settle.

If the candidate has a firm grip and shakes your hand like a professional, you immediately know that the interview is headed in a positive direction. The handshake is the first and foremost form of body language that offers information about the candidate.


Many recruiters overlook the importance of eye-contact during a job interview. Candidates who do not meet your gaze and tend to search the room for different points to focus on indicate nervousness and anxiety.

You should try to maintain eye contact with the interviewee to show your interest in the interview. Candidates who are unafraid to look at the interview and are comfortable expressing themselves will easily maintain eye contact with the interviewer – therefore demonstrating confidence in their abilities.


The number one give away of a candidate’s personality is their posture and body language. Here are some basics:


  • Leaning closer to the interviewer
  • Smiling – but not too much
  • Sitting up straight


  • Slouching
  • Bobbing foot under the table
  • Shaking leg out of anxiety