Posing For Power: Why Body Language Matters in the IT Interview

By February 10, 2014 Thought Leadership No Comments


By Glenn Schmidt, Talent Agent, VisionIT

Having interviewed thousands of IT candidates over our company’s history, we know the role body language can play in either presenting yourself as a professional or in some cases, costing you the job. And, for IT professionals, the issue of body language is often overlooked given the traditional nature of IT jobs where most of your time is sitting in front of a computer screen. Why bother?

As was recently reported by Forbes, body language can impact the outcome of a job interview. But we also think understanding the basics of body language can be an important step in your managerial journey. While body language can be difficult to read and control, learning about what your body language says about you can help you to succeed and be perceived positively. It can also help you understand more about how you make others feel and what they think about you.

Consider these tips to ensure you convey the right qualifications – mind and body:

  • Eye contact is one of the most important factors in body language. While maintaining eye contact indicates interest and demonstrates listening, too much eye contact can seem aggressive. The best way to master eye contact is to learn the balance between submissive, or looking away too often, and domineering, or looking too closely too often.
  • Posture is another key component to body language. Slouching posture indicates disinterest and fatigue, whereas straight posture shows that you are powerful and engaged. However, when sitting and standing up straight, be relaxed and comfortable to avoid looking rigid.
  • Speed also reveals what you are thinking. Slower movements, such as slow nodding, suggest that you are giving something your full attention. Fast nodding reveals impatience. If you are still, it suggests you are comfortable and in control. But if you move too quickly, people will think you are nervous.
  • Gestures with your hands can reveal your state of mind, which is especially important to notice when something negative needs to be portrayed in a positive light. Repetitive motions such as tapping show boredom, and emphasizing words by beating your hands on something shows power and authority.

In an interview and throughout your career, the messages your body sends are just important as what you say. Understanding how effectively communicate through body language will help you ace an interview, give you more confidence, and serve as another tool to further your IT career.