The Role of Applicant Nonverbal Communication in the Employment Interview



This research examined the effects that the nonverbal behavior of job applicants had on subsequent hiring evaluations. Interviewees (n = 32) were instructed to use one of four styles of nonverbal behavior during the recording of short job interviews with a standard content. The videotaped interviews were watched by behavior raters (n = 22), who assessed nonverbal-cue usage, and by judges (n = 50), who evaluated the applicants as prospective employees. The applicants were also rated by judges (n = 30) for physical attractiveness. Results supported the hypothesis that nonverbal behavior in the job interview operates as subtle reinforcement. Implications for job-counseling programs are discussed.