In a job interview, what your body says is just as — if not more— important than your actual words.

“Like it or not your future employer is assessing you from head to toe — from your movements, to your facial expressions, to your voice, to what you say and how you say it,” body language expert Lillian Glass told INSIDER. “If you don’t have the right body language — which encompasses how you move, your facial movements and expression, voice and speech — you can turn off your employer to the point you won’t get hired. So your interview may be over before you think it has begun.”

Here are 12 body language tips and tricks to help you nail your next job interview.

“Remember that the job interview begins as soon as you exit your car, as you have no idea who is watching you,” body language expert Tonya Reiman told INSIDER.

She advised walking in with your shoulders pulled back and head held high.

“Walk directly toward the person you are reaching out to by making eye contact and introducing yourself (this is typically the receptionist),” she said.

After you’ve checked in, you’ll likely have a few minutes to wait. During this time, Reiman recommends using the bathroom.

“Go into a stall – do 10 deep diaphragmatic breaths to keep you calm and when you leave the stall, run your wrists under cold water for roughly 20 to 30 seconds,” she said. “This will ensure cool palms during the handshake (if you tend to have nervous, sweaty palms).”

With your palms sufficiently cooled, you’re ready for that first handshake with your potential next boss.

“Have a solid palm-to-palm handshake,” Glass advised. “Don’t shake their hand too hard or too delicately.”

“Sit with shoulders back and head up and both feet planted on the ground,” Glass said, adding that you shouldn’t “hunch over or look sloppy.”

Reiman added that you should have your paperwork accessible and sit upright or lean slightly forward in your chair when listening to the interviewer.

“Sit against the back of the chair when asking questions if it feels right,” Reiman said. “No slouching.”

You want to make confident eye contact, but don’t stare, according to Glass.

“Staring is creepy,” she said. “It is an aggressive communication. It is also a communication that people use when they are sexually attracted to another person. So in business, you don’t want to do that, especially in these times of #MeToo.”

“Smiling is important when appropriate,” Reiman said. “Do not perma-grin throughout the meeting, it offers the perception that you do not take things serious.”

You could sabotage the clever words coming out of your mouth by speaking in a monotone.

“A monotone is boring and doesn’t give away emotion, so it confuses and upsets the person who is listening to you,” Glass said. “They may eventually tune out. You need to have a variety of tones in your voice when you speak so people can tell if you are sad, mad, or glad.”

“As humans, we are drawn to movement,” Reiman said. “Use your hands to frame your words — your hands are powerful tools when you draw them back to yourself on positive notes, anchoring positivity to you and your capabilities.”

“Upon exiting, it is good to look around slightly (giving the impression you are taking in visually your next work environment) and smile,” Reiman said.

“Remember, from the moment you arrive for a job interview until the moment you leave, you need to be keenly aware of your gestures and nonverbal cues,” she added. “Gestures are what we had before there were words – body language is primal to us and we interpret much faster than we understand and process words.”

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