It’s well-known in the business industry that one must be able to read hidden messages, and understand more than what we are told. A skilled businessman will know how to identify and analyse the body language of a person they are talking to. Understanding non-verbal communication is an extremely significant skill when closing successful deals.
You’re excited – you’ve passed the first difficult stage, and now you've been invited to a job interview. You’ve probably already started planning the course of the conversation and how you’re going to win the interviewer over. You’ve even practiced presenting yourself and describing your experience and abilities. It’s important to know that it is not just your words that might land you the job, but mainly your body language and what it is conveyed to the interviewer.
After many years of experience in this field, I could say that the first step in analysing body language is holding a short casual conversation with the person for a few minutes. I could look at the person in front of me and immediately understand their basic body language. Observation and learning during casual conversations help me better interpret signs that may have several meanings.
Short Guide for Body Language by Haim Toledano
Not many people know this, but 80% of our communication is conveyed by the world's most ancient language - body language.
This language cannot lie, and it often reflects words that aren’t spoken. There’s a lot you can learn about a person, even if you don't speak the same language and don't understand a single word one another is saying. On the other hand, there are some gestures that are incorrectly interpreted as a "sign". Sometimes certain body language is due to a person's habits or they may be the result of a completely different reason dependant on the person's circumstances. Therefore, not every person who touches their nose is necessarily lying. There’s a good chance they might just have a cold.
Haim Toledano, body language expert, personal and organizational consultant and group facilitator for the past ten years, presents a short guide for the world's most ancient language - body language.
Crossing your hands may sometimes be interpreted as being defensive, uninterested or irritable, but on the other hand, it is important to remember that the person may just be cold, and is crossing their hands to warm themselves.
Touching your ears or your nose usually indicates doubt. Touching your ears or your nose during a conversation may indicate a lie, pressure or an emotional trigger, but it can also imply that the person simply has a cold, for example.
Hand locked on mouth – When someone uses their hand to hide their mouth, it usually indicates an attempt to hide an unwanted facial expression, anxiety, fear of what is being said or making a mistake. On the other hand, it could also simply be an attempt to hide a belch, hiccup, sneeze or yawn.
Breaking eye contact – When someone looks you in the eye, it’s considered trustworthy and honest body language, but what does it mean when they shift their eye contact, constantly? According to Haim Toledano ,"We receive a subconscious message that makes us think that person is tricking us. The truth is that shifting your eyes to the right side up indicates remembering something, while shifting your eyes to the left side up indicates visual construction, i.e. inventing a visual lie".
Restlessness when sitting, such as shaking, stiff muscles and so forth are interpreted as being nervous, uncomfortable or anxious. Nevertheless, restlessness may also signify a need to go to the restroom or great excitement.