FT : Faces Say It All

Thursday, January 10, 2008

If you notice a discreet but alert man sitting quietly in the background at your next job interview in Asia, you had better hope you don’t have a thin face or ugly ears.  Many sophisticated and successful Asian businesses still probe beneath the public persona by using the ancient art of face reading.  Face reading offers a precision that modern personality tests can only aspire to, if its supporters are to be believed.  A long and beautiful ridge in the outer ear and sparkling eyes denote intelligence.  Erect shoulders suggest leadership.  A big nose and thick ears indicate an ability to garner wealth.  But watch out for candidates with lopsided mouths, eyebrows that turn up and a crooked nose (dishonesty), a prominent, pointed chin (impatience) or thin cheeks (low energy).  “Paper qualifications and a good suit don’t guarantee hard work or loyalty.  I can help my clients find out who will bring profit to a business and won’t cheat,” says Rick Yee, a Singapore-based face reader.  “I don’t think anyone really hires or fires by face reading.  It’s really more a way of focusing on character.  If a reading says someone might be devious or lazy, you can ask more questions and check references.  “When you probe like this, you can uncover things you didn’t notice before – good and bad,” says a senior executive in a prominent ethnic Chinese business family in Bangkok.  You do not have to be a Chinese traditionalist (face readers tend to be ethnic Chinese) to see similarities with more contemporary methods of enquiry.  “Seeing how people react is a key part of the interview.  If there is something wrong with their attitude, it can emerge in physical ways such as awkward mannerisms or signs of discomfort,” says Sir Anthony Ainsworth, director of RGC, the Bangkok headhunter…..Psychometric testing – batteries of questions designed to discover the fault lines of character – can signal traits headhunters might miss and should be explored further, she says.  In America and Europe such tests are virtually de rigueur for senior executive posts.  They are particularly useful in Asia, when local companies are, for example, trying to guess the potential worth of foreigners or are seeing applicants who all dress and talk in superficially similar ways, says Ms Ponswan…..

Reference : http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6dafe212-bf1e-11dc-8c61-0000779fd2ac.html

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