Hiring managers are constantly coached to keep an eye on non-verbal cues during interviews. As interviewers have heard over and over again, slouching, disinterested, fidgety candidates may be displaying red flags or indicators of trouble, like hostility, rigidity, dishonesty, or inexperience. A candidate’s eyebrows and body posture may reveal more than his or her words, and wise mangers take these indicators into account during the selection process.
But as it happens, these nonverbal cues travel in two directions. Just like managers, candidates are assessing these signals and using them to make decisions about the company. So before you meet with your talented applicants, think carefully about the message you may be sending with your clothes, your expressions, and your demeanor. Keep these considerations in mind.
1. Dress the part.
When you’re meeting with a candidate for the first time, look sharp. Your candidate will be gathering impressions from everything he sees around him. And even if you can’t do much to make your building or your reception area more impressive, you can still polish your own personal presentation. Your clothing and appearance should tell the candidate that this is a serious, legitimate, successful company with a promising future.
2. Radiate welcome and warmth.
A cold, forbidding welcome won’t awe or impress a confident candidate. It will only turn them off. And in fact, this approach may backfire, since it tends to appeal to desperate candidates who don’t have many alternative options beyond this job. When you meet your candidate for the first time, smile warmly, chat pleasantly, and show him the same respect he’s showing you by applying for a job with your company. If you’re seated when she walks into the room, stand up and shake her hand.
3. If you like it here, make this known.
If you’re happy with this company, you like your job, and you feel fulfilled and respected in this place, let this show. Your candidate will pick up on subtle signals that suggest burnout or mistreatment. If you’re not happy or you don’t believe in this company’s product or service, they’ll know, and won’t want to work here.
4. End the meeting gracefully.
When you’ve completed your series of interview questions, ask the candidate if he has anything to add or if he would like to know more about the company and the job. When it’s time to say good bye, stand up, shake hands again, thank him sincerely for his time, and let him know what to expect from you in terms of follow up.
For more on how to use your posture and body language to make a strong impression during your interview process, contact the staffing and hiring experts at PSU.