When interviewing a candidate for a vacancy in your workplace, competency-based interviews can help with identifying a person’s specific skills and previous experience to establish whether they have the specific skills required to fulfil the functions of the vacancy. When going into a job interview, candidates may reveal to the interviewer, whether they are being honest or dishonest about their past experiences and work history, through their body language and their associated non-verbal cues. It has been suggested that body language can account for as much as 60% – 80% of a person’s communications, depending on the circumstances and the amount of pressure they are under at the time.

While most body language is culturally based, there are a number of universally common facial expressions that an interviewer can look for to understand the candidate, which, coupled with the understanding of cultural diversity and awareness, can form the basis for establishing whether the candidate is being truthful in terms of their workplace experience.

Compulsive liars will fabricate stories from beginning to end with copious amounts of embellishing details and they are usually easy to spot! However, your average, ordinary person, when stretching the truth, will take elements of a true event and change the details of the story just slightly, to suit their needs in providing evidence of their competency. Asking your candidate questions related to their experience, can afford you the opportunity to watch as well as listen, so that you can pick up on body language and expressions which will help you to discern reality from fake news. Coupled with a strong sense of intuition and a high IQ, interviewers can identify just which candidates are faking it until they make it.

Candidates who do not answer questions directly, who use terms such as “we” instead of “I”, minimizing reference to themselves while also using a passive voice, might be trying to deflect attention away from themselves, indicating that they were not the protagonist in the story that they are sharing. Another word game that people can play is answering a question with another question, or repeating the questions asked to them, which are delaying tactic which buys them time to construct a reply, rather than engaging spontaneously. Similar techniques include alluding to actions rather than stating outcomes in a forthright manner. For example, when someone says they “try to”, or “like to” perform certain tasks, this does not instil faith that they get the task done.

Tell-tale body language, such as avoiding eye-contract, fidgeting, or tapping of hands or feet, sudden and extreme movement, such as throwing hands around, changes in voice or pitch and lip biting all give off a vibe that the candidate is not feeling comfortable within themselves. Whereas a certain amount of nervousness is normal, if not necessary, when it comes to interview, a combination of non-verbal and verbal queue can leave the interview in doubt. Make a positive impact by engaging in eye-contact, keeping legs and arms uncrossed, making smaller, discerned movements with your hands and body and standing or sitting comfortably so as to create a sense that you are with integrity with yourself and your workplace experience, to make sure your interviewer is able to tell that you are sure of yourself in order to win the job of your dreams.