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How To Sit in an Interview

How To Sit in an Interview: 15 Steps and Tips

During a job interview, your posture and body language can affect the hiring manager’s impression of you, regardless of the quality of your interview responses. Good posture can make you seem confident and composed, which can help you look like a better candidate for the job. Use your position and nonverbal cues to make a better first impression. In this article, we explain how to sit in an interview and give tips for improvement.

How does body language affect an interview?
Body language can affect the hiring manager’s opinion of you and reaction to the interview. This powerful nonverbal tool can give the interviewer information about your:

  • Personality
  • Confidence
  • Mood
  • Honesty
  • Reaction to questions
  • Enthusiasm for the job
  • Motivation
  • Anxiety level
  • Attentiveness
  • Comfort level

During an interview, focus on having an open posture and keeping the front of your body clear and inviting to indicate interest and friendliness.

How to sit during an interview
Knowing and practicing how to sit can give you confidence and help you relax during an interview. Focus on the following steps:

  1. Sit at the back of the chair. Wait for the interviewer to invite you to seat yourself, then sit firmly and slide all the way back in the chair rather than resting on the edge. Having your back against the chair shows confidence and can help you sit up straight and maintain good posture throughout the interview. If you have a choice of chairs to sit in, select one with a straight back rather than a couch or a cushioned chair.
  2. Lean forward. When listening to the hiring manager speak or responding to a question, lean forward slightly to show your interest and engagement. Keep your shoulders back and chest high to avoid slouching or hunching when you lean in. Avoid leaning back or to one side, which can indicate boredom.
  3. Keep both feet on the ground. Avoid crossing your legs at the knees, which can seem defensive, or placing an ankle over one knee, which can seem overly casual. Keep both feet grounded or cross your ankles to appear confident and professional. Avoid moving your feet or legs frequently, which can be distracting and a sign of anxiety.
  4. Tilt your head. Lean your head slightly to one side at times to appear friendly and interested in what the interviewer is saying. Unless you are writing notes or referencing your resume, it’s best to avoid looking down.
  5. Make eye contact. Maintain eye contact with the hiring manager when they are talking to make a positive connection. When you respond to a question, keep eye contact for about 10 seconds, look away and then make eye contact again. If you are interviewing with a group of people, respond to the person who asked the question while looking briefly at the other interviewers.
  6. Nod. When the hiring manager speaks, nod your head periodically. This action shows you are paying attention and interested in what they are saying. Smile at the appropriate times as well.
  7. Control your hands. Place your hands loosely in your lap or on the table or armrests in a way that looks confident and helps you relax. Avoid distracting or nervous actions such as touching your face or hair and defensive actions such as crossing your arms. If you are unsure what to do with your hands while speaking, you can gesture naturally and in moderation.
  8. Restrain nervous habits. Habits such as fidgeting, tapping your foot or fingers, biting your nails, twirling your hair and cracking your knuckles indicate anxiety. It is better to avoid these habits to maintain a professional persona in front of hiring managers.
  9. Respect personal space. In most interviews, the chairs are set around a table or in a room in predetermined places. However, if you do not have a table between yourself and the hiring manager, maintain at least 3 feet of space to make sure the interviewer feels comfortable around you. If they lean away from you or cross their arms, you might be getting too close.

Maintain an open posture and sit in a position that makes you feel comfortable so that you can focus your attention and energy on answering questions.

By Indeed Editorial Team

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