Should You Hire Candidates with Poker Face?

January 22, 20202:57 pm421 views
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It might be obvious that recruiters will tend to like candidates who showcase a nice attitude, loyal behaviour, have a growth mindset, and are cheerful. That being said, recruiters will likely avoid hiring employees with negative traits such as overtly self-promotional, close-minded, negative thinker, or apathetic. The problem is, it could be a very tough job for recruiters to interview candidates with blank facial expression. Giving no expression of agreement, no nod, no surprised expression – no clue at all whether the candidates are really suitable for the job or not. 

See also: Can You Trust Your “Gut Feeling” When It Comes to Making Hiring Decisions?

The blank facial expression, commonly known as a poker face, is one of the toughest challenges for recruiter and hiring manager when making a hiring decision. Kendra Cheery at VeryWell Mind revealed that we often see facial expression or body language to identify one’s true character. These two nonverbal signals also play huge in our daily communication. Without them, the conversation might go plain and uninteresting. Expression in one’s face or voice can also help recruiter determine if they should trust or be careful with the candidates. 

So, should you keep the conversation going? Or, should you just let go of the poker face candidate? 

Dealing with candidates having a poker face could be challenging, especially if their resume looks amazing. However, hiring them might jeopardise the business because, without facial expression, it will be hard for the candidate to collaborate with the current team. 

According to Teri Citterman, having no facial expression might be advantageous when the response is negative. Leaders who can keep calm in a critical situation by maintaining their facial expression will also help the team moving forward without hurdles. 

Poker face, however, can be deadly when the response you want to say is positive and beneficial for the team. You cannot help but let everyone know that you are uninterested in the conversation although, you actually enjoy the discussion, added Citterman. Thus, team collaboration might hamper when one person is unable to show their expression. 

Apart from that, many employees nowadays demand more emotions, authenticity, and transparency, said Citterman. So, hiring a poker-face individual might not be a good idea. 

But what if this “emotionless candidate” really have potential? 

On the contrary, let them go without knowing their true potential might not be advantageous for an employer, as well. What if the candidate can really demonstrate the skills they have? What if the candidate is emotionless just to hide his true feeling of break up? What if in the depth of his no facial expression, there lies a gold mine for a company? All the “what-if” is what recruiter should find out. But how? 

To know the true potential and/or characteristics of poker face candidates is to crack a little of their emotions. Kristie Brewer at The Guardian advised recruiters to do the microexpression test first. Microexpression is a subconscious flash of emotion across the face. It does not last longer than a quarter of a second until the poker face person back to their conscious mind. This, nevertheless, can be a very great clue for recruiter and can potentially help the candidate reveal more of their expression. 

To sprout the microexpression, you should give some kind of shocking statements or facts. Shock, explained Brewer, is one of the most noticeable microexpression. Once you see a shocked expression in your candidate’s face, you can clarify by saying, “You look startled, can I explain?” to dive deep into the hidden treasure you are waiting – the true character (expression) of your candidates. Commonly, the answer will vary from bursting to happiness or sadness, depending on the shocking statement you said and candidate’s answer. 

When the interview atmosphere change, you can finally see the real candidate’s character behind the poker face mask. Thus, it will be easier for you to make a final hiring decision.  

Read also: Hiring Tips: How to Recognise a Fake Diploma