If you’re working in human resources, or in any other position where it’s necessary to determine whether an applicant or employee, is honest and candid, one of the techniques you can employ is graphology. Graphology is handwriting analysis and considered a 'people science'. Even a layperson can utilize these techniques to enhance their ability to assess whether a person is being frank and forthcoming or is lying and deceptive.
Things You'll Need
- Blank sheet of white paper; Ink pen; Curiosity about people and an interest in handwriting and what it can reveal.
What your handwriting reveals
Hand the person that you’re interviewing a blank piece of paper and an ink pen and ask him to write a paragraph or two about himself. Ask him to sign it (using his signature) when he’s completed the task. Leave the room while he’s doing this.
Afterwards, study what the person has written. If he has overly slow handwriting this can indicate that he’s either intellectually inferior or is trying to hide something. An adult with reasonable intelligence does not write slowly most of the time. When slow handwriting is evident (the opposite of swift, hurried handwriting which is detectable) it can infer calculated behavior or that the person is trying to conceal something. A person who is writing from the heart, spontaneously, does not have to carefully ponder each word that she writes down.
Check for big gaps between words. If the person wrote: “I am thirty years old” he’s probably lying about his age. Look at segmented letters. If a person prints, and the letters don’t touch, this indicates stealth and deception.
Study to see if there are ‘cover strokes’ (i.e., the tail of the last letter in a word swoops up and over a portion of the word). This could indicate the person is feeling defensive and has something to hide.
Look for the ‘felon’s claw’, which is considered one of the most delectable traits in graphology. This shape is seen when a person makes a straight down-stroke and then immediately goes into a claw shape (comparable in shape to an upside down U but sharper). This handwriting characteristic is associated with bitterness, bad instincts and guilt. The higher the claw, the worse the situation is, and the more conscious the writer is of her guilt and criminality.
Study the person’s signature. If the person’s signature is significantly different from the text that she's written this reveals that what you see is NOT what you get. This person is probably pretentious and arrogant but not necessarily a crook. She may not behave in public as she does in private, indicating duplicity.
Tips & Warnings
- Learning graphology insights can give you the edge if you’re in a position where you must hire people or, for instance, if you’re an attorney and trying to pick a jury. Subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, clues and cues can be picked up from a person’s handwriting.
- Handwriting is as unique as a fingerprint. Our handwriting reveals our true selves.