Assessment of the appearance and demeanor of the applicant

(author – Rykova E.V.)

It is very important that the applicant knows how to behave with dignity and with all his appearance testifies to obvious well-being. Dysfunctional people are not respected enough, sometimes they are simply not trusted. Well-being is evidenced by neatness in appearance, correctly chosen clothes , grooming , as well as other generally accepted factors. Sometimes even expensive jewelry can do a disservice, although it would seem that their presence makes a “plus” for the owner. In fact, expensive jewelry can be perceived as evidence of great ambition and pretentiousness . If the position does not involve a high salary, then the HR manager may not like the abundance of expensive things.

Of course, this may be his personal subjective impression, but in a number of cases it has a number of justifications. Indeed, a person who puts high incomes in the first place will not be content with a position with a modest salary. So, he will work for a short time and start looking for a new job. It is unlikely that management will like this situation. Accordingly, such an applicant is unlikely to be hired. That is why any sane person, going to an interview, will leave very expensive jewelry at home.

The intention of the applicant to knock on the door testifies to the uncertainty and ignorance of the basics of business etiquette . A self-confident person with adequate self-esteem will not do this. He can contact the secretary or administrator to inquire about admission, or open the office door by asking a specific question. Interestingly, for most HR managers, the applicant knocking on the door first causes some irritation. The same goes for the timid question “May I?”, which the applicant may ask, referring to permission to enter the office. Such “little things” significantly affect the first impression that is created from a candidate for a vacant position. However, shyness and insecurity in themselves, although not the best qualities, should not be the decisive reason why the applicant will be rejected . An HR manager should be more objective, and not fix his attention on some points, even if they personally seem significant to you. Paradoxically, the most intransigent to other people’s shortcomings, not even particularly significant ones, are young recruiters, whose own status in the organization is still dubious. They completely revel in power, watching the bewildered expression on the face of the applicant, who is far superior in age and professional qualities to themselves. Such behavior often hides the HR manager’s own lack of confidence in himself and his abilities . He cannot cope with his complexes, so he tries to “recoup” those who are in a less advantageous position, in our case, those who are trying to get a job. However, as in physics, “action is always equal to reaction.” And sooner or later, an HR manager may face a situation where yesterday’s applicant becomes his immediate supervisor. Or, already in the process of interviewing, a former recruiter will have to listen to several hard-hitting remarks from an applicant who has a strong character and high self-esteem. However, the desire to assert oneself at the expense of the interlocutor is initially not only a big mistake of the personnel manager, but also a clear evidence of his incompetence. HR professionals themselves need to understand this.

So, we continue the conversation about which candidate will be able to make the most favorable impression. The HR manager usually invites the visitor to sit down . In some cases, this proposal may already hide a test . For example, a chair is placed in such a way that the light will hit the applicant’s eyes. Of course, a confident person will definitely move the chair so that he is comfortable. If a person did not do this and chose to put up with the existing trouble, this may indicate both a lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Such an applicant, with his passivity, willy-nilly begins to make an unfavorable impression on the HR manager. However, do not rush to conclusions. It is possible that the person did not immediately notice the source of discomfort.

Not the best is the willingness of the applicant to hold a bag or folder on his lap. This also indicates some uncertainty, a desire to take up as little space as possible. Such behavior can be inherent in modest people. They treat themselves with great exactingness , they are able to criticize and condemn any of their actions. Unfortunately, people of this type, with their picky attitude towards their own person, form an extreme degree of insecurity in themselves. And it must be passed on to others. However, it would be premature to form a negative attitude towards modest or timid people. If the position for which they are applying does not require such qualities as activity, self-confidence, ambition, etc., their candidacy may well suit the organization.

During the interview, the applicant can look into the eyes of the HR manager, or he can constantly look away . Of course, if a person stares , without looking away, into the eyes of the interlocutor, this may be considered not too decent . But, on the other hand, it is much worse if a person looks away, constantly looks away . In this case, we involuntarily suspect that the person is deliberately hiding some information, although in reality everything can be completely different. A very good sign is a smile on the applicant’s face. Of course, the smile should be sincere, not forced . A tense facial expression is negatively perceived by the HR manager. And it’s completely natural. However, the overly sugary smile on the face of the interlocutor is no less unpleasant. In this case, the recruiter involuntarily has a question: is the applicant as smart as it follows from his documents and, possibly, from his resume? After all, if a person does not understand obvious things, in particular, is not aware of the influence of his own facial expressions on others, how will he work in a responsible position ? Of course, such reflections mostly concern those professions that involve intensive communication with clients, buyers, customers. If a person applies for a job that is not related to communication, his facial expressions cannot have an impact on his assessment.

The HR manager must evaluate each applicant objectively . At the same time, one cannot but admit that the personal attractiveness of the applicant can have a noticeable influence on the manager. You may recall the saying of S. J. Rendell: “Everyone gets close to perfection when they fill out a questionnaire for employment.” It can also happen that literally immediately the HR manager feels an inexplicable hostility towards the applicant. Although in this case it may be appropriate to say F. Nietzsche: “There are no facts, only interpretations.”

In fact, the first impression of a person is very strong . It is well known that the first few minutes of dating provide an opportunity to form the notorious first impression. It is during this short period, in a few minutes, that the primary assessment of a person takes place. And a certain forecast is laid in the mind regarding the behavior, character and personal characteristics of a new acquaintance.

The following factors influence the formation of the first impression :

The appearance of a person (here, the natural data themselves, the style of clothing, the manner of carrying oneself, and the manner of communicating matter) . If we talk about the actual external data, then there is no more controversial factor in assessing the personality. It is well known that appearances can be deceiving. However, most people are notoriously sympathetic to attractive people. Physical attractiveness implies an expressive face with regular features; a good, harmoniously developed figure. It’s no secret that physically attractive people seem to be luckier around them. They are automatically credited with having positive character traits. That is why attractive people, accustomed to the goodwill of others, behave more confidently. Their self-esteem is significantly higher than the self-esteem of people with a non-winning appearance.

Of course, external data cannot escape the attention of the HR manager. For some vacancies, external data can even be one of the decisive values. For example, the positions of an administrator, a secretary, a TV program host, a journalist, and some others imply the need to select a candidate with a deliberately attractive appearance.

However, the HR manager must avoid subjective evaluation . The presence of unconditional external attractiveness should not obscure the presence or absence of business qualitiesnecessary for a particular profession.

An important component of external attractiveness is clothing style . Every HR-manager is convinced almost every day that “they are met by clothes”. The assessment of the style of clothing during the interview is mostly about how it (that is, the style) fits the given situation . However, the generally accepted stereotypes cannot be discounted. Poorly dressed man causes pity . It is obvious. But arousing pity from the HR manager does not mean getting the job you want. Every HR manager is responsible for their organization. And therefore, he is unlikely to want to hire a person whose appearance speaks of obvious trouble.

Trouble is associated in most people with low social status, the lack of a good education and, as a result, the inability to take a worthy position in society. Even if the HR manager is a responsive and friendly person, he is unlikely to take the risk of hiring a candidate who makes such an unfavorable impression at the first meeting. That is why the style of clothing should be as conservative or neutral as possible . Even if the applicant is not rich at all or, simply speaking, poor, this should not be noticeable in his appearance.

· A successful first impression largely depends on how the applicant knows how to “present” himself . Such qualities speak in favor of the candidate, such as the ability to hide flaws and emphasize merits in every possible way . It concerns the manner of speaking and behaving . A confident person who is not lost in the atmosphere of a conversation with an HR manager (or several employees) is assessed , no doubt, positively . The ability to profitably “present” oneself implies not only confidence in oneself and one’s abilities, but also the ability to communicate , the presence of artistic abilities (they are very necessary when applying for a job), quick reaction , the ability to easily find the right answer , etc. An insecure person in in most cases, he feels uncomfortable , which is noticeable in his alert gestures, stiffness . The HR manager may well develop a biased attitude towards an insecure person. However, it is not entirely justified. When interviewing for some vacant positions, it is not always necessary for the applicant to show himself as an artistic, sociable, talkative person. Of course, if we are talking about a position associated with intensive communication, such qualities are necessary. But in other cases, other skills and abilities come to the fore. Therefore, the personnel manager must clearly understand what personal qualities are needed for a particular profession. And it is not necessary to measure all candidates with one measure.

Some are distinguished by the fact that they think in stereotypes, that is, they are distinguished by a tendency to generalize. This is due to personal experience, social environment, as well as a whole host of other factors . Stereotypes greatly influence our assessment of others. From the point of view of psychology, there are several categories of stereotypes: anthropological, or physical stereotypes; social stereotypes (which in turn are divided into national, professional, social group ); emotional stereotypes. Each of them, in turn, can do a disservice to the personnel manager.

Anthropological (physical) stereotypes are based on the fact that in the human mind, external appearance is closely related to internal qualities . For example, a young girl with wide eyes is perceived as childishly naive, impractical, trusting. Of course, such an impression can be misleading. But the attempt to classify people according to external features occurs quite often. According to facial features, many try to predict the character of a person: a high forehead is perceived as evidence of high intelligence; thin lips – as a sign of a quarrelsome character, etc. An HR manager should not allow himself such assessments. They, despite their prevalence, are very relative.

Socio-group stereotypes relate to the psychological assessment of people in terms of their belonging to a particular social category . For example, a woman who is in the status of a housewife is perceived as not being intelligent enough; putting the household in the first place, and therefore not worthy to take a responsible position. A person engaged in scientific work is perceived as purposeful, serious, responsible. However, such judgments are often not only inaccurate, but downright erroneous. A housewife can be an intellectual person and have a rare business acumen. And a scientific worker may turn out to be a frivolous and lazy person.

Often, a person’s assessment is influenced by his nationality. Unfortunately, many people associate the presence or absence of certain personal qualities with nationality. Such opinions are unacceptable for a professional. The nationality of the applicant may concern the HR manager only in connection with legal issues (the presence or absence of the applicant’s registration in this particular state).

If we talk about emotional stereotypes , then in this case, the presence or absence of positive or negative experience in the past is implied. The fact is that a new person (in our case, the applicant), whom the HR manager saw for the first time, can remind him of another person with whom a certain, positive or negative attitude is associated. In the case of positive associations, the HR manager involuntarily begins to project his attitude onto the applicant. And the candidate will be perceived favorably by him, even if he clearly does not have noteworthy indicators. In the case of negative associations, on the contrary, the HR manager will not treat the applicant in the best way.

If we talk about professional stereotypes , then here each person has his own rating scale. Representatives of certain professions can be perceived positively, representatives of a different kind of activity, on the contrary, negatively.

However, all of the above stereotypes, due to human subjective nature, cannot claim to be absolute truth. This means that the HR manager should not rush when evaluating a candidate. All the factors that we just talked about should be the basis for the further formation of an idea about a particular applicant. So don’t rely on first impressions.

When talking with a potential employee, a recruiter should pay attention to a variety of details and, above all, to gestures . It is gestures that can give comprehensive information about what, quite possibly, a person would like to hide. The applicant clearly shows nervousness if he allows uncontrolled hand movements . For example, breaks fingers or collects palms in the castle . Such a reaction can occur in a person in response to any question. It is possible that a person answers one thing, and body language contradicts this, betrays the uncertainty and nervousness of the interlocutor. Of course, it is not at all necessary to suspect the applicant of lying. He may not be entirely sure what he is saying. Insignificant, barely noticeable or quite strong trembling of the fingers also speaks of nervousness, uncertainty . A person feels uncomfortable if he wipes sweat from his forehead (of course, if the room is plus thirty degrees, then this action is quite justified); or if he coughs frequently (however, it may be that the applicant is not completely healthy. If the interview is conducted in cold or damp weather, a cold may well occur).

The applicant clearly doubts what he is saying if he involuntarily covers his mouth . Such a gesture may indicate that a person is lying , to one degree or another, or wants to hide something. This is also indicated by such a gesture: a person puts his elbows on the table , and places his closed hands in front of his mouth . The HR manager conducting the interview should definitely pay attention to such gestures. Decide what questions caused a similar reaction of the interlocutor. And double check your information.

The following actions speak of obvious discomfort, insecurity : when a person quickly twists an object in his hands (for example, a fountain pen); rubs his palms. Not the best sign is the nervous movement of the thumbs with interlaced hands . However, such gestures rather indicate that you are not a very confident person in front of you. Perhaps he himself estimates his performance low, so he feels uncomfortable under the scrutiny of a recruiter. Gestures such as tightly clenched hands also speak of discomfort and distrust ; stroking the hand with the index finger of the other hand; touching your cheek or neck with your palm or finger .

The applicant may feel uncomfortable and insecure for various reasons. Maybe at his former place of work he was not too appreciated. And he is afraid that the recruiter will consider him an inappropriate candidate. It may also be that the applicant’s self-esteem is low enough, and he subconsciously expects to be rejected as an unsuitable candidate.

Of course, an HR manager should not form his opinion about the applicant on the basis of non-verbal signs alone . Gestures are only an auxiliary, secondary means for evaluating a potential employee. However, they cannot be completely neglected. Attention to trifles allows you to better understand the interlocutor, to make for yourself his psychological portrait. The recruiter can write down on a piece of paper information about gestures that seem alarming. And then, after a conversation with the candidate and after a careful study of his documentation, it will be possible to draw certain conclusions.

If the applicant firmly holds on to the armrests of the chair with his hands or squeezes the other with one hand , this indicates that he is diligently trying to control his behavior . It is quite possible that now this person mentally scrutinizes every word, is afraid to say something superfluous, controls his intonation. In general, there is nothing wrong with this. The job interview itself is stressful for many people. And if a person knows how to control himself, in the future this will allow him to prove himself in the most beneficial way in the workplace.

If the applicant sits cross-legged, crosses his arms over his chest, or wraps them around his knees, this is indicative of closeness . The same can be said if the interlocutor during the conversation squeezes his fingers into a fist . Such gestures indicate that the interlocutor, as it were, is trying to isolate himself from the recruiter, close himself from annoying questions, and protect his pride. It is quite possible that in this case the behavior of the HR manager seems to the applicant not correct enough; maybe the applicant feels unkindness towards himself.

If the job seeker looks at the recruiter over his glasses , lowering them to the tip of his nose, it is quite possible that he is not happy with the current situation. Such a gesture indicates a negative, most likely unfriendly attitude . If a person takes off glasses, twists them in his hands , wipes them, folds the temples, etc., this indicates internal doubts and contradictions . It is also possible that a person doubts something and wants to hide it. Such gestures are typical for people who are touchy, impressionable, not too self-confident.

If a person raised his hand to his cheek , most likely, he thought . If some recruiter’s question caused such a reaction, it means that the applicant’s attitude to this issue is ambiguous. It is quite possible that a person is trying to concentrate in order to present information most clearly and from a favorable side. If the applicant touches his chin with his fingers , this also indicates a thought process : the applicant is trying to make an important decision for himself, perhaps it is associated with some information that a person can tell the HR manager or not.

If the applicant sits in the classic “thinker’s position” , that is, he supports his chin with his hand and holds his index finger along his cheek, while carefully looking at the manager, most likely he is upset or offended by something. Perhaps the applicant has the impression that he is underestimated . And he thinks how to fix the situation. If the applicant often slightly raises his shoulders , this indicates his readiness to openly tell any information about himself . If at the same time the applicant’s head is slightly tilted to the side , this indicates his interest . Most likely, the interlocutor is interested in such a process as an interview.

If the applicant strokes his chin , most likely, he is not just thinking about something. He assesses the situation, is about to make some decision.

In the course of a conversation or in the process of filling out tests, the applicant can close his eyes, while touching his cheek, forehead or nose with his hand . This means that a person is trying to concentrate internally before making an important decision.

If a person sits with folded arms, cross-legged and tilting his head back , this indicates an internal secrecy or suspicion of the interlocutor. It is possible that a person feels some discomfort in this situation. And so diligently controls himself. Strong self-control and suspicion are indicated by a look from under your brows . This view is often found in self-doubt, as well as in conservative-minded people.

If a person touches the earlobe , this indicates the nervousness that he is experiencing at the moment. Perhaps a person is burdened by a specific situation, and he is waiting for the end of the conversation. If a person touches his eyebrows with his fingers , scratches his eyes, this may indicate fatigue or some secrecy .

If a person puts his hands to his chest , this indicates openness and disposition towards his interlocutor.

In assessing the applicant, not only gestures as such are important, but also facial expressions . Gestures and facial expressions can be called differently – “body language”. That is why gestures often give out the information that the applicant intends to hide. Gestures and facial expressions sometimes testify against a person, even if his speech is impeccable in all respects. If a person is calm and well in control of himself, then others will definitely notice this. An aura of well-being emanates from such an applicant, and his facial expressions and gestures testify to this. If a person is extremely excited, agitated, or experiencing severe stress, others will also be able to guess this precisely from facial expressions and gestures.

Here are the main manifestations of human facial expressions: if a person is surprised by something, then his eyes are wide open, his eyebrows are raised up, the tips of his lips are lowered . If a person is sad , his eyebrows are drawn together, there is no shine and enthusiasm in the eyes, the corners of the lips can be half-lowered. Closed lips with downturned corners testify to disappointment . The ironic attitude of the interlocutor can be guessed by the following signs: one or both eyes may be slightly screwed up; the lips are tightly compressed, while the corners of the tubes are slightly lowered .

A wrinkled nose, slightly closed eyes and downturned corners of the mouth may indicate a contemptuous attitude of the interlocutor. Furrowed eyebrows, clenched teeth, tense lips, the corners of which are lowered down, speak of rage .

If a person seeks to hide some manifestations of his feelings, he may bite his tongue or lips . Such a reaction can be caused by an unexpected turn of events, for example, a pronounced distrust or negative attitude of the HR manager, which he does not hide. The applicant may be trying to control his emotions at the moment. If a person compresses his lips so that they turn into a narrow strip , then the situation that has arisen clearly weighs him down. He does not accept it, perhaps he experiences such emotions as anger, irritation, annoyance, ridicule.

By itself, facial expressions do not say much about the applicant. After all, we cannot read the thoughts of another person. It is possible that his negative emotions are not caused by a specific question, but by the interview itself, which some perceive as a serious test, similar to an exam. Therefore, the assessment of human facial expressions should be only a secondary, and not the main factor influencing the formation of a certain opinion about a particular person.

Some people often gesticulate when speaking out loud. Normally, gestures should be restrained, natural. Tense gestures indicate a person’s obvious discomfort . And the HR manager involuntarily wonders why the candidate is so nervous.

Thanks to facial expressions and gestures , it is not so difficult to determine a lie . There are very few people who are able to lie so naturally and naturally that others do not have the slightest suspicion. Most people, in the event of a forced need to lie, begin to behave differently than in a normal situation. That is why it is not at all necessary for an HR manager to have a lie detector in order to suspect a lie.

In what cases is a person forced to lie in an interview? It is easy enough to answer this question. First of all, the applicant is very much interested in the proposed work. But there are obviously some factors that can prevent this job from getting . It may also be that the applicant initially does not consider himself a worthy candidate for a vacant position. This may be due to a number of objective and subjective reasons, in particular, low self-esteem. But despite all this, the applicant intends to “try his luck”, that is, to try to get an interview based on his luck. In this case, most likely, a person will try to deliberately embellish his merits, “correct” his work biography in order to make a better impression on the recruiter. In order to determine a lie , you should pay attention to the following features of the applicant’s behavior: a person allows a large number of unnecessary body movements , constantly moves his arms , legs (sits in the “foot on foot” position, then changes his position, begins to beat the fraction with his heel, etc. .). It is also possible that a person begins to tap with fingers ; twirls a pen or a cigarette in his hands. Such gestures indicate discomfort and insecurity , as we have already said, which can be the result of a lie. The fact that a person is telling a lie can also be guessed by the tone of his voice . Rather, it is not the tone itself that will tell about a lie, but the discrepancy between the tone of voice and the meaning of the conversation. As a rule, if a person tells a lie, this is accompanied by a high tone of voice . Unnatural, ingratiating, uncertain, justifying notes in the voice should alert the HR manager, and he should carefully study all the information related to the topic of conversation.

Often a liar allows inaccuracies and contradictions in his story (especially if it is sufficiently detailed). The HR manager can “catch on” to these inaccuracies and contradictions and ask additional questions. A person who tells a lie will try to somehow change the situation for the better, as a result of which he will become even more confused.

Often a lie is accompanied by an insincere smile . The fact that the smile is just that can be guessed by the following signs: the smile is “crooked”, or asymmetrical, the corners of the mouth are at different levels . Such a smile may indicate a contemptuous attitude towards the interlocutor . A person in this case smiles only with his lips. With an unnatural smile , the eyes are not involved, there is no tension in the eye muscles . It’s like the formal, meaningless smile people sometimes exchange when greeting.

The fact that a person is telling a lie can also be guessed by slight changes in facial expression. That is, in the process of speaking, the facial muscles of the applicant will make micro movements . The reason for this is the emergence of internal disagreement with what a person says. Such mimic manifestations can occur during the conversation, if emotionally he for a moment has ceased to control himself. And it is impossible to keep yourself under control all the time.

Dilated pupils, too frequent blinking should be warning signs. These are all signs of emotional tension, and it often accompanies a lie.

Sometimes, when talking with a particular applicant, an HR manager, as they say, with a “sixth sense”, feels his insincerity or an obvious lie, but does not know how to behave – to expose the candidate openly or choose some other methods. Of course, one cannot analyze such a phenomenon out of context, that is, without connection with any particular situation. In some cases, an HR manager’s idea that a job applicant is lying too much can be a good enough reason to reject the job. In other cases, it does not hurt to study the applicant’s documents in more detail in order to determine his strengths and weaknesses. It is quite possible that a person admits a lie when he talks about his biography, some of the facts of which he wants to hide. But at the same time, he can be a really good employee. If we are not talking about a criminal past, such moments may not be decisive in assessing the candidacy of this applicant.

When it comes to the so-called body language, one cannot fail to say that it is he who often affects the overall impression of a particular candidate. Clumsy, awkward movements, an ingratiating look, etc., sometimes create an extremely unfavorable impression of the interlocutor for the recruiter.

Much more objective information can be given by communication with the applicant , during which it will be possible to get an idea of u200bu200bhis psychological and professional qualities. The applicant should strive to make a favorable impression on the personnel manager, as well as to interest his person. It is for this that the ability to show and present oneself should be actively used. The applicant must present his professional skills and qualities of character in the most advantageous way. It is very important that the candidate speaks clearly, convincingly, and does not show obvious nervousness . Calm, confident demeanor wins you over. Nervous, restless behavior will no doubt put an HR manager on alert. With this behavior of the candidate, the HR manager may have a question: “Why is he so nervous? Maybe he hides some information or provides deliberately false information? In fact, this may not be the case at all. But the impression has already been created. And it, one way or another, has an impact on the assessment of the interlocutor by the manager.

It may happen that during the interview, the applicant for a particular position will immediately state his arguments , why exactly he, like no one else, is suitable for this vacancy. This indicates a high self-esteem of the candidate. Of course, the presence of high self-esteem is favorably perceived by many HR managers. However, how the applicant evaluates himself may differ significantly from how the recruiter evaluates him. Further conversation will show the true value of such a candidate. From the very first minutes of the conversation, the HR manager should pay attention to how the applicant speaks and behaves . A person can keep calm, speak clearly and clearly . This is a good sign. This is especially important if the applicant is applying for a managerial position or a position related to working with clients. If a person is clearly not confident in himself, does not clearly express his thoughts, then he is unlikely to be able to become a good leader. It is obvious. However, during the interview process, it may turn out that this person is suitable for another open position in this organization. All this should be provided by the HR manager.

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