READING THE BODY LANGUAGE OF INTERVIEWERS *
Job interviews can often feel like you are under a microscope. Job candidates are aware that they are being assessed for competence, confidence,
and candour. But what about the interviewer? An interviewer’s
body language can speak louder than words.
Here's how to tell what the interviewer(s) really think(s).
1. Check the feet. If an interviewer says he “could go on talking with you all day", but his feet are pointing toward the door, he is
actually eager for the conversation to come to a close.
If someone is sitting with ankles crossed and legs stretched forward, he / she is probably feeling positively toward you.
Feet pulled away from you, wrapped in a tight ankle lock, pointed at the exit, or wrapped around the legs of a chair, usually indicates withdrawal and disengagement.
2. See if she's a copycat. If an interviewer begins to mimic your gestures, she feels you are a kindred spirit and you’re likely to get her stamp of approval. This is because when we talk with someone we like, or are interested
in, we subconsciously switch our body posture to match that of the other person — mirroring that person’s non-verbal behaviour, and signalling that we are connected and engaged.
3. Watch the shoulders. If
the interviewer shrugs one shoulder as he / she tells you about the Company’s great work environment, it’s probably not that great. A partial, or abridged shoulder shrug usually indicates that a person lacks conviction about what he / she
4. Notice where she / he is looking. If the interviewer has good eye contact with you, or keeps glancing at your Curriculum Vitae / resume, he or she is likely to be interested
in you for the position. We tend to gaze longer at people and things we like. Conversely, when someone is disengaged, the amount of eye contact decreases, and you may notice that she or he keeps glancing around the room.
5. Realize that if he or she hesitates, it's not a good sign. If you ask when you’ll hear about the job, and he / she replies, “Um, uh, er . . . soon,” you’ll probably never hear from him / her again.
For most people, the act of lying is stressful. One of the signs of stress is the use of verbal hesitations and false starts.
6. Observe the head position. If the interviewer tilts her head as you’re speaking, she wants
to hear more. Head tilting is a signal that someone is interested, curious, and involved. The head tilt is a universal gesture of “giving the other person an ear”.
7. Hope for a full frontal response. If the
interviewer’s entire body — head, shoulders, hips and feet — is orientated towards you, he / she is totally engrossed in what you’re saying. When people are engaged, they will face you directly, “pointing” at you
with their whole body. But, the instant they feel uncomfortable, they may angle their upper body away.
* The above is based largely on work by Carol Kinsey Goman, PhD, who is an international
keynote speaker, the author of "The Silent Language of Leader" and creator of Lynda.com's video series: "Body Language for Leaders." #LinkedInLearning #bodylanguage #careersuccess #jobinterview.
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