Enjoying what you’re reading? Sign up now.


Hire the Right Person: 4 Ways to Decode Body Language

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:


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.


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.


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:

Get the most out of your Reynolds investment. Do you want to learn how to use your system more efficiently? Reynolds Software Education has training

NADA is always a busy, boisterous event – multiply it by 10 when you’re in Vegas. As I walked around the show talking with dealers,

Couple talking

Picture this: a customer comes in to your store to buy a vehicle, they find the one they want, they go through the entire process


If the past has proven anything, it’s that dealerships are able to remain strong and adapt to whatever comes their way. 2023 has been no