Many people today are unaware of just how important it is to keep in mind nonverbal cues when interviewing for a job. Nonverbal cues are all the ways you present and express yourself. How others perceive you from these nonverbal cues, especially in an interview, can separate a good candidate from a bad candidate and can help you stand out as the best candidate to hire.

Below are some nonverbal cues and ways you can use them to ace your next job interview!

Eye contact. Eye contact is the best way for establishing nonverbal communication with others. It shows your level of involvement, interest, and warmth. So, when you are in an interview be sure to keep good eye contact with the interviewer. Lack of eye contact or merely glancing at someone for one second or less conveys insecurity, anxiety or avoidance.

Handshake. Your handshake should be firm, but not bone-crushing. You should avoid doing the weak “limp fish” handshake. Your handshake can often be the first impression, so be sure to make it a good one. According to Forbes Magazine, “A good handshake consists of a full and firm handclasp with palms embraced web to web. Shake up and down once or twice, coupled with a sincere smile and eye contact."

Hand Gestures. A good rule of thumb to follow is to be yourself while in an interview and strive to punctuate your words with a movement that is natural, lively, and purposeful. Avoid distracting gestures such as finger-pointing, fidgeting, scratching, tapping, playing with hair, wringing hands, and twisting a ring. These gestures can distract your interviewer and take away focus on what you’re saying which can negatively affect your chances of moving forward in the interview process.

Dressing the part. This is where doing your research ahead of time comes into play. We recommend that you visit the company’s team page on their website to gauge what the dress code is like so you can have a good idea of what is appropriate to wear to the interview. Also to complement your attire, be mindful of what you bring to the job interview, having a professional notebook and pen to take notes is key.

Posture and presence. It is important that you maintain good posture and sit up straight in an interview to portray self-confidence, authority, and energy. Having bad posture signals to the interviewer that you lack confidence and have low self-esteem or low energy levels.

Facial expressions. Be mindful of your facial expressions. Become aware of what your face is portraying to the interviewer, and choose the expression that matches the point you are getting across. For example, if you want to convey energy and enthusiasm, allow your face to become more animated. To show you're paying attention while listening, hold a very slight smile, nod occasionally, and maintain good eye contact. Practice in front of a mirror until it looks and feels natural.

The tone of your voice. Be sure to project your voice strongly and avoid a weak, timid, or even baby-soft voice. Be mindful of your voice and its tone, especially when it comes to the pace, pausing, volume, pitch, and articulation. This way you will avoid having the interviewer misinterpret what you mean by how you said it.

Giving your full attention. This goes without saying but when you are in a job interview, you should always be paying full attention. You can portray this in many ways - point your toes and square your shoulders toward the interviewer, this conveys attentiveness and creates open body language. Lean into the conversation and engage. These nonverbal cues clearly convey you respect and appreciate the opportunity to meet with them and being considered for the job.

Responding to others’ nonverbal cues. When you are in the job interview, pay close attention to the interviewer’s body language and voice tone. Aim to mirror their energy and body language. Their nonverbal cues can tell you when they have a question, want to say something, agree or disagree, and require more explanation. By responding appropriately to others’ nonverbal cues, you not only convey confidence in yourself, you show a high level of empathy, sensitivity and care for them which builds trust and which can help you stand out from other candidates.

For other helpful interview tips, check out our resources page at