Hiring Wisdom: When You Interview, Get Out From Behind That Desk

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

If, like most people, you sit behind your desk when you conduct interviews. Here are a few good reasons to try something different:

  1. A desk blocks your view of most of the applicant’s body language which can be much more telling than what they are saying. In fact, body language conveys 52-60 percent of the information you’re looking for.
  2. Most people have been taught to lie from the neck up. Remember when your mom said: “I can tell you’re lying because you can’t look me in the eye.” So, guess what most people who are inclined to lie learned to do? Look you right in the eye and lie. That’s why you want to take into account posture, gestures, eye movement, and facial expressions as well.
  3. A desk also creates a psychological barrier between you and the applicant. A more relaxed prospective employee will be less defensive and more open and honest. Try sitting side-by-side or at least in full view of each other.
  4. If you are mainly a factually-oriented person, put the applicant on your left because the left-side of the body is connected to the intuitive, right-side of your brain. If you are mainly intuitive, do the reverse and tap into your fact-based, logical side.

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

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Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.