Behavioral Interviewing And Nonverbal Communication

Behavioral interviewing is defined as an application of communication theory and the study of patterns of behavior to guide in the interview process. It is believed that human communication is affected by learning which affects the behavioral indicators that can be observed and interpreted. Some of those behavior indicators are nonverbal posturing, sensory verbal communication, and eye movement.
Although there are no step by step methods to use when it comes to behavioral interviewing all these tools should be used along with any other form of interviewing and are not a stand alone method.When looking at behavioral interviewing it is very important that you not only listen to what is said during the interview, but also how it is said. For example if the interviewee has an emotional outburst and inflections of the voice this may give you a clue to a sensitive area during the interview. If someone has sudden silence, uncertainty or confusion, or does a shifting of conversation to an unrelated subject this may indicate that information they have is being withheld. Another sign that the interviewer may have reached a sensitive area with the interviewee is if they have nervous bodily reactions or facial characteristics.As a result of this the interviewer will know that some portions of the statement may require further probing or clarification. The scientific study of gestures and other body movements is known as kinesics.
This is a form of nonverbal communication which we as call body language. The three categories of learners are visual, auditory and physical. When it comes to nonverbal communication men appear to use different nonverbal communication differently when speaking to men then they do woman.Also age differences also play an impact when it comes to the style of communication. Since there are so many different variances because of people’s personal characteristics for example ethnicity, gender as well as age it is important that the interviewer analyze the responses during conversations prior to beginning the interview. Facial expressions may not only be visible and non visible, but they can also be universal. During the interview process some individual’s facial expressions may show the specific emotion they are feeling at that particular time.

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The facial expressions may include movements to emphasize speech which aren’t typical of the individual so during the interview process the interviewer should watch the movement closely. Even though people may attempt to cover up their facial expressions the smile is the most common cover. If an individual’s smile indicates pleasure they may cover it up by pressing their lips together and pushing the chin muscles up. Other expressions that need to be looked at during the interview are when the individual shows a sign of sadness, sorrow, or grief they will have the lip corner go down.This kind of facial expression is reliable and hard to fake. Sadness, grief, or distress is indicated by wrinkling the center of the forehead muscles. The inner corners of the eyebrows are typically pulled upward.
When the eyebrows are raised and pulled together that is a sign that the individual may be showing a sign of fear, worry, apprehension or terror. Body posture also makes a statement about the type of emotion the individual being interviewed may feel. When someone stands with their hands on their hips and have their feet spread apart that may show defiance or aggression.This also can happen when an individual is trying to make what is called a power play. For example if you have someone who has his/her arms crossed, uncross your arms to see if they follow your behavioral lead. If they do then you have achieved control over the situation. If a person is truthful they tend to lean forward which is an indication that they are listening where as deceitful people tend to move away.
Watching someone’s eye movement also provides another way to access information needed to determine an individual’s behavioral pattern during an interview.Look at the direction of the subject’s eyes in response to any visual, auditory or kinesthetic terms during the time you build rapport with him/her. Normally when the subjects eyes are defocused or staring straight ahead it will indicate recalled or remembered images. It is also common in today’s society for employers to look at behavioral techniques when interviewing someone for a job. In traditional job interviews we are able to get away with being able to tell the interviewer what he/she wants to hear, even if we are fudging a bit on the truth.For example during a job interview you are asked “How would you handle XYC situation? ” As an interviewer how does he/she know you would really react that way, but with a behavioral interview it’s more difficult to give responses that are untrue to your character because the interviewer typically will be able to pick it apart and try to get more specific behaviors by probing further in depth or ask you a follow up question like “What were you thinking at that point? ”.With the behavioral interview if the story you told is anything but totally honest your response will not hold up through the probing questions.
Employers also use the behavioral interview technique to evaluate the candidate’s experience as well as behaviors, so they can determine the applicant’s potential for success. Some of the characteristics that employers look at are being a self starter, critical thinking, his/her willingness to learn teamwork and his/her professionalism.

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