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Tips on how to read body language during the interview stage

 “I speak two languages, Body and English.” Mae West.
Sometimes, what a candidate says can tell you one thing and their body language something quite different. Is it possible to read someone’s body language accurately, whether face to face or by video? The answer is probably no if you are simply looking for text book “arms crossed - defensive”, “hand over mouth - lying” type movements.
The vast majority of those ideas are gross generalisations.  What if the person with their arms crossed was simply feeling chilly or the person covering their mouth was disguising a cold sore? Well, that’s those theories out of the window then!
Reading body language has got far more to do with observing changes in someone’s body posture and behaviour. Spend five minutes at the start of an interview making the person feel relaxed when talking about something in their comfort zone. Test what they look like when discussing things they are passionate and knowledgeable about.  Thereafter, you can compare their relaxed, confident and open state with changes further into the conversation.
We all know that it is what someone says plus how they say it and their body language that paints the full picture. So watch their body language, listen carefully to their answers and  get a feel for how they say things (tonality, pitch, volume, speed) and the changes  along the way and you will have a far more accurate assessment of a candidate’s suitability.


Source:  Warren Kemp, CEO and Trainer, Recruitment Matters International.

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