What does that eyebrow raise mean?

By Aminah Madihah

POV: You’re watching your interviewer’s every movement during your job interview. We help you decode it.

Previously, we’ve talked about signs your job interview went south, and how to salvage it. Now, we know that sometimes you gotta trust your guts if they tell you that you flunked your interview. But there is another way to confirm if your interview went badly: Observe your interviewer’s body language.

Just like in other situations, body language can convey messages that are not vocalised. Smiling means you’re happy, furrowing your eyebrows means you’re dissatisfied. It’s subtle cues like this that can help you read a room even when the other person is keeping their thoughts to themselves. It’s common for interviewers to withhold their comments, and you’ll only know what they think of you post-interview when you receive the job offer - or not.

During interviews, first impressions matter. Understanding the nuances of an interviewer's body language can be your secret weapon. Here are some gestures you should pay attention to:

#1 Eye contact
The interviewer's eye contact can reveal their level of engagement and interest. If they maintain consistent eye contact, it often indicates they are actively listening and interested in what you're saying. On the other hand, if they avoid eye contact or frequently look away, it might mean that they’re not interested in the conversation and you’re done for the day.

#2 Note taking
If the interviewer is taking notes, it may suggest they find what you're saying important and are considering you seriously. However, excessively writing down in their paper or notebook could be a sign of scepticism or concern. Step up your game during the interview if you notice this happening, and perhaps correct yourself in case you said anything wrongly.

#3 Leg movement
Watch for it! Tapping or shaking legs may signal impatience, and your interviewer might want to move on from the current topic. It can be perceived as a lack of interest in the conversation. If you notice your interviewer’s feet are pointing away from you, it could indicate a desire to leave. On the other hand, if their feet are pointing towards you, it signals engagement and interest.

#4 Body posture
If they lean forward or maintain a comfortable conversational distance, it's generally a positive sign. It often suggests interest and attentiveness. Whatever you’re talking about, the interviewer definitely wants to know more about it! However, watch out if they lean back or cross their arms as it may indicate a more guarded or less interested stance.

#5 Time management
Noticed your interviewer checking his watch way too often? You could give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s checking his heart rate or notifications through his smart watch. But traditionally, this suggests that they are running behind schedule or not fully engaged. This might be a good time for you to whip out something to pique their interest or wrap up your speech so they don’t get too impatient.

Photo by Resume Genius on Unsplash.

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