Job Interview Body Language Top Tips and What NOT to do - Essence Magazine Interviews Patti Wood

Essence Magazine asked me to give three tips for interview body language that may surprise you.

  1. Don’t keep your hands in your lap. Keep hands in view, ideally open showing the palms of the hands to show openness and confidence and approachability.
  2. Don’t always make eye contact. While you should maintain eye contact with the interviewer when they are speaking,  it's ok if you look away as you are talking and forming your thoughts. In fact, it may be necessary to look away.   
  3. Don’t ever cross your arms.  It's not as horrible as you might think to cross your arms. It’s not the ideal posture but, you may need a brief arm cross to comfort yourself like a little self-hug during an interview. But only do it once or twice and make it very brief. Because research shows that if you do you retain 38% percent less information, have higher levels of stress and a more negative view of whoever is speaking. 
Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at