What Your Candidate is Really Thinking During an Interview? Reading Body Language

Published on 9/25/2012 by Jimmy Hurff

Categories: Recruiting Software Blog

Tags: body languagecandidateinterviewinginterviewsjob search

By: BrightMove Recruiting Software

Whether we realize it or not, humans have an innate skill that allows us to read and interpret other people's body language. Every person sends out nonverbal messages in any given situation that reinforces their mood and behavior. As a recruiter, it is important to identify these vital body cues in a live interview so that you can properly evaluate a candidate's willingness, comfort, and qualifications for the job position. Studies have shown that of the information we receive from other people: 10% come from what they actually say; 40% come from the tone and speed of their voice; and 50% come from their body language. The sending and receiving of body language signals happen on both conscious and unconscious levels.

How do you know if your candidate is engaged?

Positive signs that the interview is going well and your candidate is not only interested in the job, but is eager to prove him/herself include: sincere smiling, steady eye contact, head nodding, an upright or forward leaning posture, a tilted head, placing hand on cheek, relaxed arms, and outward, upward hand movements.

How do you know if your candidate is disengaged?

Negative signs that can indicate boredom or disinterest in the interview process and even defensiveness include: looking around the room, crossing arms, lean back in his/her chair, narrowing of eyes, pointing feet towards the door, angling shoulders away from you, lowering head, nodding too much, tapping fingers, kicking/bouncing foot, and even a frown!

How do you know if your candidate is stressed?

Anxiety cues can indicate that the candidate is potentially lying about their background or is self-conscious: a higher pitched vocal tone, constant face touching, fidgeting, crossed ankles, patting hair, clearing throat, excessive blinking, biting fingernails, and touching the front of the neck. It is important to remember that all interviews can be stressful so some of these signs are normal, especially at the beginning of the interview process. However, if your candidate displays excessive amounts of stress signals, he/she may be unqualified for the job and/or not confident in pursuing their position.

By paying attention to a potential employee's body language, recruiters can better understand how candidates will communicate and build relationships and rapport in the workplace. Body Language is extremely important and relevant in professional settings, especially in management and leadership roles. Positive and engaging body languages reinforces confident subordinates and an overall optimistic company culture.

About the Author, Jimmy Hurff

Jimmy is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for leading business transformations. Over his 25+ year career, Jimmy has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of engineering, data analytics, security, compliance & business transformation. Starting in 1995, Jimmy worked with his best friend, David Webb, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. From then to now, Jimmy has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.

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