Body Language Faux Pas in Interviews Revealed
Employers are most put off by job candidates who fail to make eye contact, have a weak handshake or don’t smile, research has found.
A survey of 100 businesses by CareerBuilder.co.uk revealed that the other body language turn-offs for employers when interviewing were fidgeting, poor posture, crossing arms over the chest and an overly forceful handshake.
Tony Roy, president of CareerBuilder EMEA, said that non-verbal cues given by job candidates were often influential on the hiring decision, with employers evaluating the “whole package” during interviews.
But HR expert Hilary Jeanes of PurpleLine Consulting warned employers against making overly-hasty decisions based on body language.
“Sometimes people haven’t done an interview for a while and may simply be nervous. Employers should also be wary of their own prejudices about a person’s appearance or behaviour, otherwise they could risk missing a quality candidate.”
To ensure consistency and help rule out bias, Jeanes said employers should interview in pairs and work through a set list of questions for each applicant. Inconsistent body language, such as candidates avoiding eye contact when asked difficult questions, could also be used to identify potential pitfalls, she said.
“Observant interviewers will look at body language as a part of the overall interview process,” added Jeanes. “So, if the person suddenly starts looking awkward or shifty when you ask them why they left their last job, it’s probably a good idea to probe deeper.”