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Nonverbal language types and how to analyze them in an interview

Nonverbal language: What types there are and how to analyze them in an interview

If in a selection process you only look at a candidate’s curriculum you will only know their professional experience, their studies (knowledge) and their skills. But are these really the most important aspects? In a job interview is where you can best meet the candidate and what more information you will give of his personality and motivation is non-verbal communication.

Gestures, speech, posture, facial expressions, eye contact, etc. must all play an important role in your final decision. For this reason in today’s post we differentiate you the three key aspects of non-verbal language: paralinguistic behavior, kinesia and proxemic. In addition, we will give you practical tips to master your analysis in an interview.

How to interpret kinesia?

When we speak of kinesia we mean the communication expressed through the different movements of the body. In this article we will focus on interpreting the look, legs, hands and posture:

Look:
People who often avoid looking are often insecure at the time of the interview, or shy.

If spontaneously while talking, they begin to fix the view in several parts, it can be indicative of nervousness, omission of information or even lies.

Legs:
  • Crossed legs: evidence of insecurity or shyness
  • Fully stretched legs: denote some arrogance
  • One leg in front and one behind: it is a position that usually manifests itself in stressful situations.
Hands:
  • Intertwined hands: they usually show that the person is nervous, sad or anxious.
  • Holding the wrist with one of your hands: it is common in waiting contexts in which you do not know very well what to do. Evidence of nervousness.
  • Contact thumbs: it is a position in which dominion and trust is transmitted.
Posture:
  • Excessively comfortable posture: if the candidate sits in an excessively accommodating position, he will be transmitting arrogance and lack of interest.
  • Relaxed and upright posture: a person sitting in this posture feels confident and confident. Conveys frankness.
  • Sitting at the edge of the chair: it is an uncomfortable position in which it is indicated that the person feels indecisive, or else wanting to finish.
  • Forward tilt: indicates attention or interest.

How to interpret paralinguistic behavior?

Paralinguistic behavior includes non-linguistic variations such as the volume, tone and timbre of the voice; speed and fluency in speech; breathing; silences; and even yawning, laughter or crying.

Let’s look first at the volume and speed when speaking; introverts almost always present a lower volume and a slower rhythm in speech. On the contrary, those who are more extroverted usually communicate by raising their voices and at a faster pace.

Another detail to highlight are the variations in the timbre of the voice. The marked changes usually indicate that the candidate goes from being comfortable to being in tension in front of a given question.

How to interpret proxemic?

The proxymic represents how we use space to communicate.

The distance that separates us from the candidate provides information about his personality. For example, shy people often leave ample space to communicate, as they tend to be suspicious at first contact. On the contrary, those who seek proximity during a conversation, are usually extroverted and very confident people.

Proximity in conversation also often depends on the culture in which the person develops, as well as on age. Young people generally communicate more closely than older people.
And you: Do you consider nonverbal communication when deciding whether the candidate is still in the process or not?
Did you know all these kinds of nonverbal language?

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