Enjoying what you’re reading? Sign up now.

Subscribe
Search

Hire the Right Person: 4 Ways to Decode Body Language

Article Highlights:

  • Decrease employee turnover by hiring the right person the first time.
  • Body language tells a lot about what a person won't say.

According to NADA, dealership employee turnover is hovering around 39%. Replacing just one of those employees cost on average $82,500.

This begs the question – are you hiring the right employees?

When you walk into your next candidate interview, take a step back and look at their body language. Body language can tell a lot about a person, especially what they are thinking, but won’t say.

Here are some of the basics:

Mirroring

If a candidate is mimicking your movements, they are mirroring. For example, if you were to move toward them, they do the same towards you. A mirroring candidate often shows their interest in the conversation by following the interviewer’s movements. If your torso moves in, theirs does as well, in the same way. They will follow this pattern throughout the entire interview.

A candidate who mirrors often develops a higher sense of trust and empathy throughout the interview process. Research shows the other person feels safe and comfortable, resulting in a better interview.

As an interviewer, you can also practice this if you have a nervous candidate. This can calm them down and get them to open up.

Openness

As an interviewer, you know when a candidate is not being 100% truthful. Look at their facial expressions, torso placement, and feet. An open candidate will have a calm facial expression, with their torso directly in front of you, and their feet solidly on the ground (no shaking or bouncing).

A guarded candidate often turns away as if they are hiding something. Their feet move up and down rapidly and their torso angles to the side, almost blocking yours. Their facial expression is frantic because they may be trying to hide something.

Power Poses

Power poses are a reflection of how your candidate will handle office situations. The way they sit can determine if they are a leader or a follower.

high-power pose

A relaxed candidate often holds a high-power pose. His shoulders are back with a straight posture and he is calm. He is confident in his skills and has nothing to hide. Often he speaks openly about his past experiences and easily answers some of those “tough” questions most candidates gets stuck on.

low-power pose

A nervous or guarded candidate tends to display a low-power pose. He shrinks into his chair, slouches, and seems uninterested. He isn’t focused on what is going on, he is preparing how to get around the next question.

compare candidate poses

When compared side by side you can see the difference. Notice the woman and man on the left show interest in the conversation with interactive poses. The woman on the right seems uninterested. This should be a red flag.

Eye Contact

“The windows to the soul” can often tell you a lot more than you think. Candidates’ eyes are road-maps into their minds. Make sure there is plenty of eye contact during the interview, but not too much. Constant eye contact can be uncomfortable for both parties.

If a candidate is lying they often look to the side or avoid eye contact all together. A truthful candidate answers a question while directly looking at their interviewer.

Conclusion

Don’t overlook body language. It can tell you a whole lot more than words ever could. Before you hold your next interview take a second and interact with some of your employees. Ask them questions and see if you can interpret exactly what they are thinking and feeling through their body language.

Share this Article

Marketing Communications, Reynolds and Reynolds

Amy received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University in 2014. She is the former Personnel Manager of AVW Productions, and currently works with Reynolds as part of the Marketing Communications team.

Related Articles:

Purchasing experiences differ consumer to consumer. I recently spoke to a first-time car buyer about her experience at a local dealership. While her experience wasn’t

We’ve all heard the phrase website stickiness, but relatively few people have considered the concept of dealership stickiness. What I mean by this is providing

A few months ago, I talked about Gen Z and whether or not you should be concerned just yet. One of the top needs I

According to a recent AutoTrader study, only 17 out of 4,002 automotive customers, from their 20’s to 60’s, currently prefer today’s car buying process. That