In a job interview, your body language can make or break your chances of landing an offer.

Research suggests that nonverbal communication — eye contact, posture, smiling, hand gestures — heavily influences how people perceive you, especially in a professional environment. 

This means that, in a job interview, how you speak is just as important as what you say, says Bert Bean, CEO of the staffing firm Insight Global.

Bean has interviewed hundreds of job applicants in his 19-year career as a recruiter-turned-CEO.

He’s noticed that the best candidates use the same simple trick to stand out in the interview — it’s a step that most people “forget” to take, Bean adds, but when applied correctly, “it can help you get hired on the spot.”

The trick? Use nonverbal cues to show the interviewer you’re engaged and excited to be there.

“The best candidates are the ones who sit on the edge of their seats and make it clear that they’re very engaged in the conversation,” Bean explains.

The reason this tactic is so effective, he adds, is simple: “People want to hire people that are genuinely interested in their work.”

To show you’re a confident, capable candidate, consider using these cues, as recommended by Bean and Indeed:

  • Nod and smile while the interviewer is speaking
  • Limit fidgeting
  • Maintain good posture

Other hiring experts agree with Bean: All other things being equal, a candidate who walks into a job interview with a positive attitude and an eagerness to work will have an edge over one who comes off as bored or apathetic.

Showing that you are energized and enthusiastic about a role is the top “green flag” hiring managers look for in a job interview, Shekhinah Bass, an executive at Goldman Sachs, told CNBC Make It in August.

“Anyone can do the research, but showing genuine excitement about the role and bringing energy to the conversation is a lot more memorable than someone who sounds monotone, or like they’re reading off of a script,” said Bass, who serves as Goldman Sachs’ head of talent strategy within the firm’s human capital management division.

It’s important to note, however, that body language isn’t the only way to show your enthusiasm or engagement during a job interview. 

As Bass explained, “You can tell how energized someone is about an opportunity based on how seamlessly they’re able to weave in their knowledge of any major news, initiatives or changes at the organization, or the broader industry they’re hoping to work in, into the conversation, too.”