During the interview it is essential that you judge candidates based on a number of factors, including their behavior and mannerisms. Doing so will give you a better indication of the potential worth of the individual, and means that you have to focus on far more than simply the candidate’s verbal responses.
Looking for signs of confidence
When conducting an interview you should look beyond their verbal responses. Look at factors such as quality of handshake, eye contact, hand gestures, head movements, posture, how much (or how little) they move around in their seat, and how comfortable they appear. Also listen to the speed and intonation of their voice – whether or not they are speaking very quickly, and how much they vary their intonation.
Although it is important to bear in mind that the candidate might be nervous during the interview, these nerves should settle as the interview progresses and you will therefore be able to pick up on more non-verbal cues as the interview develops.
Engagement in conversation
Once the interview gets going, pay attention to how engaged the candidate is in the conversation. Are they paying attention to detail? Are they asking as many questions as possible, rather than just responding to your questions? Are they enthusiastic when asking and answering questions? What facial expressions are they presenting to you? are they maintaining eye contact or eager to look away?
Hands, arms, feet and legs
How the candidate is seated during the interview will tell you a great deal about their personality. If their hands are placed calmly on their lap, they are confident and relaxed. If they open their hands with visible palms, they are sincere, warm and open.
If the candidate drums their fingers, this is a sign of impatience or not paying attention. Hands crossed across the check show a closed off, defensive person or someone who is in disagreement with you. This is a generally negative sign that coupled with crossed legs, can convey reserved and suspicious behavior.
As the interview comes to a close, are they anxious to leave or do they appear relaxed yet hopeful? This will show the true confidence levels of the individual.
The ability to read a candidate’s body language is invaluable during the interview. If you think that you will be unable to assess both the body language and verbal responses of the candidate, then may wish to bring in an additional interviewer who can focus specifically on analyzing body language.
Assessing body language is invaluable in ascertaining the quality and worth of a candidate.