Nonverbal Signs

  1. Stress signals
    When people lie, their heart rate goes up, blood pressure goes up, and breathing gets shallow. Much of detecting lies is detecting stress. You won’t know if people are lying just by the fact that they are playing with their jewelry or bouncing their feet, but you’ll know that something is up.
  2. Deviation from the “truth baseline”
    Before an official job interview, you might invite candidates for coffee so you can observe their gestures and the pitch of their voices as they answer easy questions like, “How did you hear about this job?” Look for a baseline of truthful answer behaviors and then take note of any changes during further questioning.
  3. “Telltale Four”
    Look for clusters of verbal and nonverbal signs. If you’re interviewing someone and notice stress signs, put an asterisk by that question and return to the subject later. If you get the stressed reaction a second time, the person may be holding something back.
  4. Eye Signals
    The biggest myth around deception is that liars don’t look you in the eye. Because liars have heard this, they may overcompensate and look at you too directly. There is, however, a correlation between lying and blink rate. As a lie is constructed and told, the liar’s blink rate goes down. After the lie is told, the blink rate will increase up to eight times.
  5. Emotional Incongruence
    Sometimes, you just have a gut feeling that something is off, like catching someone with a phony smile. A liar can look incredibly fearful that he or she will be caught, but be careful because truthful people can also look fearful that you won’t believe them.


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