Recruiting and interviewing can be a tough job to do. As a human resources professional, you are charged with selecting candidates that will be the future of the company. Finding top talent can a challenge when you receive hundreds of applicants.
Sifting through applicant qualifications to bring in a few hopefuls for an interview may seem like the most difficult part of the recruiting process.
But the hardest part usually comes down to the interview, because sometimes, first impressions aren't always what they seem.
Body Language Can't Always Be Trusted When Finding Top Talent
Here's the thing about body language in an interview: it's going to vary greatly based on the person sitting across from you.
Let's face it, interviews are daunting experiences for most people. We often enter interviews knowing we'll be scrutinized. We hope our qualifications are enough to get the gig.
Someone who appears rigid or fidgety, for example, is probably just nervous. They respect your authority and know they have to put their best foot forward. So, break the ice, ask questions about their life outside of their qualifications.
If someone seems uncomfortable and overly anxious, draw attention to some of their accomplishments and watch as they loosen up.
Additionally, you could check yourself. Meaning, what body language are you presenting to this newcomer that may be offputting.
Are you sitting with your arms crossed?
Is your chair much higher than the candidate's and you're looking down at them?
Are you making good eye contact?
Are you frowning?
These are small things, but they can reflect right back to you in the applicant's body language.
Remember, some people are more outgoing than others, so don't let their personalities overshadow their hard work. Because if you don't scoop up top talent because their body language wasn't spot-on, someone else will.
Keeping Your Eyes Peeled
Some people are much better at maintaining eye contact than others. Most know it's an important factor in the interview process. But sitting face-to-face with someone who is about to decide your future can be extremely intimidating. So, forgive them for this, especially if they have an impressive resume.
Look Past the Body Language and Listen
If body language or eye contact distracts you, pay closer attention to the answers the candidate gives you when asking those dreadful questions they've been anticipating for the last week. If they've prepared, they may shoot off answers without a second thought. But even if they had everything rehearsed before their interview, they may draw a blank.
Give them a moment to adjust, allow them to come back to the question, and when you do, they may knock it out of the park. Sincerity and compassion are important in interviews.
Questions Aren't A Weakness in Top Talent
If the interviewee has lots of questions, you may feel defensive or critical of the Q&A session that's begun.
Questions can be an excellent sign of intrigue, commitment, and connection to your company. If the candidate is asking challenging questions, it could be a feather in your hat because you've found someone with passion for the company.
Familiarity with company mission and values can also come through in questions. If they aren't on-the-surface questions, they may demonstrate that the candidate actually cares about operations and values.
Clashing With the Candidate
Not everyone is a perfect fit...for you. Some people don't mesh well on first meetings, and first impressions aren't always a good guide to go off of when adding someone to your team.
If you feel a bad vibe, for whatever reason, try to push it aside and consider the candidate's qualifications—the reason you brought them in, to begin with.
It's very possible that the candidate was taught interview tactics that just make them feel awkward and you never know if that's what you're picking up on.
When finding top talent it's important to pay close attention to applicant qualifications, and references. Because actions don't always speak louder than words. Remember, you were in their seat at one time as well, and being scrutinized is something most people aren't comfortable with.