In a survey of more than 2000 hiring managers, HR consultancy The River Group found 33 per cent of employers claimed to know whether or not they would hire someone within the first 90 seconds. Though this is terrifying news to candidates, what can you do to ensure that you stand out early, during the all-important interview?

Common Non-verbal Mistakes

Key findings from the research included the most common non-verbal mistakes made during job interviews.

*9 per cent use too many hand gestures - These are distracting to an interviewer, and can become more of a hindrance in getting your message across as the interview progresses. Don't be afraid to use your hands when you communicate, however just remember to tone it down if you can.


*21 per cent cross their arms over their chest - In a stressful environment such as an interview, crossing your arms may be quite comfortable. However, in this setting, it is generally seen as a negative "closed" gesture by the interviewer.

*21 per cent play with their hair or touch their face - Usually this is an uncontrolled action, however again it is distracting to the interviewer, and limits your ability to get your message across.

*26 per cent have a weak handshake - The handshake is a sign of confidence, and having a weak grip subconsciously suggests to the employer that you don't believe in yourself. While you don't want to crush the other person's hand, you need to show you are serious at this very base level of communication.

*33 per cent fidget too much - Things like clicking a pen or drumming your fingers continually, can start to goad the interviewer, and turn your time together into a gruelling experience.

*33 per cent have bad posture - Always sit up and have an attentive posture during any interview you are involved in. Bad posture says you are not taking the interview seriously, and will almost always leave a bad impression.

*38 per cent don't smile - sadly many candidates believe we must be super-professional at the interview by not smiling or showing emotion. Smiling is the most basic way we can communicate positively and show enthusiasm without saying anything.

*47 per cent have little knowledge of the company - Always have a great answer to "What do you know about our company" and "Why do you wish to work here?" Literally 10 minutes of research on the web will ensure you stand out positively when these questions pop up.

*67 per cent fail to make eye contact - Making positive eye contact with the interviewer or potential employer, shows you are confident and are paying attention to the process. Always remember to move your eyes to and from them during your time together, as you also don't want to be seen as that "creepy candidate" who was staring them down all interview.


Follow these basic tips in non-verbal communication, and you will be sure to rise to the top of the pile in your job search.

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