As a HR manager, you are known to want to find out as much as possible about the applicant during an interview in order to find out whether the candidate is a good match for you. Targeted questioning is essential. However, you can also learn many things about your counterpart from non-verbal signals. Many hidden emotions can be read from the attitude and body language in the job interview. In this article you will find out how you can correctly interpret these signals in the future.
Determining the baseline
Before you start the actual interview, you should determine the so-called baseline of the applicant. “Baseline” means the usual behavior of the other party. For example, use a friendly greeting and small talk at the beginning to lighten the mood on the one hand and create a positive atmosphere on the other. Then memorize the “natural” and “usual” behavior. With the help of this, you can more easily distinguish deviations and discrepancies from “normal behavior” during the job interview.
Typical body language signals during a job interview
During the interview, you as a HR manager should pay attention to the consistency of the statements and body language of your counterpart. Are they consistent or are there discrepancies? We have summarized for you what one or the other signal could mean. However, it is important to remember that reading and interpreting body language in a job interview requires a lot of practice and that the nervousness factor of your counterpart should be taken into account.
Constantly looking at the clock?
- This signal may convey that the person you are talking to wants to end the call.
Pulls at his clothes during the conversation?
- Such behavior may mean that the applicant’s interest dwindles.
Constantly looking at the floor?
- It could indicate disinterest and arrogance.
Constantly touching your forehead or nose while listening?
- This signals a gesture of concealment in the broadest sense. The applicant may lie or withhold important details from you.
Crosses the arms?
- This signal often expresses defensiveness, arrogance and selfishness.
Cross your arms behind your head?
- Here the applicant may convey that he feels superior.
Plays with hair, clothes or objects?
- This may signal a feeling of discomfort and embarrassment.
Presses his lips together, raises his eyebrows and lifts his head?
- This may be a gesture of arrogance and dominance.
Avoid direct eye contact?
- This behavior could be a mediator of insecurity.
Sitting or standing up?
- Self-confidence is signaled here.
Is the upper body bent slightly forward?
- Such a signal usually conveys agreement, interest and openness.
Smiles at you
- A casual smile indicates sympathy and interest.
Has “steady” hands?
- This signal mainly expresses self-confidence.
What does body language analysis help you with during the job interview?
Body language is usually very honest. So if you, as an HR manager, can decode body language in a job interview, this will bring you many advantages. This allows you to see whether the applicant has understood what was said, feels uncomfortable or is dishonest, for example. The non-verbal signals are therefore extremely helpful, especially with regard to difficult, delicate questions and topics.