It is no secret that candidates can find interviews very trying. Preparing what to say during the interview is therefore a popular strategy used by applicants. But most of them forget that body language can very quickly completely destroy what has been said. We have compiled a short list of basic gestures with which applicants can quickly reveal their true feelings – and show whether they are really suitable for a particular position in your company.
The first impression
Some recruiters claim to able to assess candidates within 30 seconds. Whilst the first impression is certainly influenced to a large extent by external appearance, body language also counts. Nervously adjusting clothes, a weak handshake or greeting people without making direct eye contact are already signs of insecurity and a lack of self-confidence.
During the interview
Do some of your candidates rock on their chair, bob up and down on their feet, tap their fingers or continually scratch? Gestures like these are generally a sign that the person concerned has difficulties concentrating on the issue at hand, even for a few minutes.
Rubbing the back of the head or neck – communicates a complete lack of interest
Touching the nose – the candidate may not be entirely honest
Sitting with folded arms – this typically defensive posture suggests a lack of openness towards the person opposite.
Crossing the legs and foot waggling - is a distraction and shows that the applicant does not feel comfortable
Raising the eyebrows, pursing the lips or tilting the head back – your candidate appears to be very sure of him- or herself, a clear sign of arrogance or dominance
Leaning towards the door with the upper part of the body – it appears the candidate may possibly prefer to make a run for it
Lounging in the chair – a sign of disinterest and boredom
Staring back with a vacant expression – normally an indication that a person wishes to distance themself
Strong perfume or aftershave – the candidate may wish to divert attention from particular weaknesses
Signs of a strong personality
A straight posture, with the upper part of the body leaning slightly forward – the candidate has a genuine interest in the interview, communicating agreement and admiration[respect]
Smiling, nodding and other positive gestures – a sign of enthusiasm, competence and interest
Attentive listening and interaction during the interview - candidates who look around and give their full attention to the person asking the question are interested in their interview partner(s) and demonstrate openness.
Keeping the head still, a strong voice, elegant movements – your candidate is very self-assured and confident
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