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Recruiter’s Guide to Decoding Candidates’ Body Language

Recruiter’s Guide to Decoding Candidates’ Body Language

Recruiting and retaining the desired talent is important for the success of any organization.  Human resources recruiters go beyond scanning candidate resumes and employment records, and seek to discover subtle hints provided by the candidates’ body language, as it can help determine whether or not they’re the right fit for the job. According to Professor Albert Mehrabian of UCLA, 55 percent of the meaning is conveyed through body language when people communicate. Human resources recruiters can’t afford to overlook these non-verbal signs emitted by candidates. To help, this post discusses some effective tips to pick up body language signs. Take a look.

1. Observe Candidates Before Interview

Observe candidates discreetly before the interview,  to note their usual resting faces – their facial expressions when they are not interacting with anyone. Watch out for negative expressions such as frowns or anger on their faces. People with a negative resting faces are usually less approachable. Take note of the facial expressions that make a person appear angry and annoyed, as they can indicate psychological issues.

2. Note how Candidates Walk Into Your Office

Take note of the way every job applicant walks into your office. Candidates who walk tall and take brisk strides are generally enthusiastic about the opportunity. Those who appear to be dragging themselves into your office demonstrate a lack of confidence and are generally skeptical about the opportunity. Candidates with shoulders down or hands placed in the pockets demonstrate rejection.

3. Take a Note of Handshake Quality   

A firm handshake accompanied by a smile demonstrates interest and confidence. An over enthusiastic handshake however, can mean the person is insecure and over-enthusiastic. People who shake hands vigorously (often crunching the other person’s knuckles) may have an aggressive and dominating personality. A lifeless handshake demonstrates a flat personality.

4. Observe Seating Posture

Slouching demonstrates lack of interest and disrespect for authority. Leaning back in the chair with hands placed at the back of the head demonstrates arrogance. If the candidate is sitting with their feet pointed towards the door, they want the conversation to end soon. Candidates who sit tall in the chair with their head erect, but don’t sink in are usually confident and demonstrate alertness and  interest. Crossed arms and legs can mean defensiveness.

5. Consider the Eye Contact Quality

Interested candidates tend to make good eye contact with the interviewer, although intense staring indicates aggression. A candidate who avoids direct eye contact with the interviewer may be trying to misrepresent facts, which demonstrates dishonesty. A blank stare often indicates lack of interest. The quality of eye contact, however, can be deceptive at times and you must not base your hiring decision on this criterion alone. Contrary to popular belief, a compulsive liar, for instance may try to make more eye contact with the interviewer to assure them of their trustworthiness.

6.  Look for the ‘Heart Window’

Watch for candidates who sit with the front of the chest turned towards you when answering questions related to their last jobs and capabilities. The posture  demonstrates confidence and interest, and also show the person’s eagerness to explore the opportunity.

Ready to Hire the Right Candidate?

Body language provides important cues on whether the candidate would be the right fit for a role. When combined with other factors, such as the candidate’s experience, qualifications, and achievements, nonverbal communication can help you make best hiring decisions. An experienced human resources recruiter can decode the meaning of these and other body language signs accurately to make the best hiring decisions. Delta Dallas is a leading provider of a range of human resource staffing services in Dallas. We serve companies from diverse backgrounds and industries and can help you chart a customized recruitment strategy. To learn more about our Dallas employment services, fill out our contact form or call us at (972) 788-2300.

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