Unlocking the secrets of an interviewer’s body language can provide you with a hidden advantage during the job interview process. After spending over three decades in the recruitment game, I’ve picked up a few tricks on reading the room – or, more accurately, reading the interviewer. Let’s break down those non-verbal cues to help you gauge how your interview is going and help you succeed in your upcoming interview.


If your interviewer is sitting up straight and leaning forward just a bit, they’re intrigued, ready, and interested in what you have to say. It’s like when someone leans in to hear the gossip—you know you’ve got their attention. But if they’re slumped, leaning way back, or maintaining a rigid posture, it could indicate disinterest or a defensive stance. It’s your cue to bring out the big guns and reel them in.

Your interviewer’s posture can reveal a lot about their current state of mind and attitude towards you.

Eye Contact

An interviewer maintaining steady eye contact likely feels positive about the interaction, showcasing their attention and interest. However, excessive eye contact can sometimes feel intimidating, whereas too little may suggest disengagement. Notice the balance in their eye contact to understand their comfort and interest levels.

Eye contact is a critical component of effective communication.

Hand Gestures

If the interviewer uses gestures to emphasize points or nods while you speak, it’s a good sign they are actively engaged and encouraging you to continue. You want to see open palms or hands resting comfortably – it means they’re open and receptive. Closed fists or hands hidden away? They might not be fully on board yet. Crossed arms might also indicate a reserved or judgmental attitude.

Hand gestures can tell a lot about the interviewer’s feelings and reactions.


A genuine smile – you know, the kind that reaches their eyes – is your green light. It’s like getting a thumbs up. If your interviewer smiles naturally during the conversation, it indicates a comfortable and positive atmosphere. Be mindful, though, of forced smiles as they could suggest politeness rather than genuine interest. If the smile feels plastered on, as if they’re just going through the motions, you might need to inject some more enthusiasm or warmth into your answers.

Observing the overall facial expressions for cues of curiosity, surprise, or doubt can provide additional insights into the interviewer’s mindset.

Voice Tone

The tone of voice can be the most telling. An enthusiastic, engaged tone means you’re on the right track—they are interested and appreciate your responses. However,  if their voice starts to flatline, it might indicate boredom or disinterest and it’s time to bring out a story that showcases your passion.

Listen carefully to the enthusiasm and inflections in their voice as these can be key indicators of their interest in your application.

Three decades in, and I’m still fascinated by the silent dance of body language in interviews. Remember to be equally mindful about what you say, how you say it, how you listen. Keep these cues in mind, and you’ll impress and connect with the interviewer on a deeper level. After all, interviews are about finding that match, and sometimes, the unspoken words are the ones that tell us the most.

That’s a wrap for now! Remember these pointers for your next interview, and stay tuned for more invaluable advice on our website and LinkedIn page. Contact me via LinkedIn or trish@continentalsearch.com

About the Author

Trish Valenzuela is the Practice Director for Monogastric Health & Nutrition at Continental Search. She joined the team in 2015. With her knack for building relationships and a deep understanding of the industry, she has successfully led recruitment efforts for roles within the US, Canada, and Asia.

Trish makes sure to understand what each company needs in a candidate and works closely with them to find the perfect match. She loves learning new things, enjoys going to trade shows, and catching up with folks she’s worked with to keep learning and growing in her field. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or drop her an email at trish@continentalsearch.com.