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Barbara Corcoran became a full-fledged television personality on Shark Tank when the reality show premiered in 2009. Prior to her TV celebrity, Corcoran was known as a business icon in the real estate industry. Over the years, the Shark Tank star has seen one clear sign that tells her a partnership is not in the cards.

Barbara Corcoran of 'Shark Tank'
Barbara Corcoran of ‘Shark Tank’ | Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images

Barbara Corcoran has Zoom requirements

Since the pandemic hit in March 2020, Corcoran has conducted many business interactions from her home. Even when hiring people through online interviews, the Shark Tank panelist has certain expectations.

“We had a social media position here open about eight months ago and the two ladies who work for me interviewed about 500 people,” Corcoran told Morning Brew in May 2021. “But of all those people, if someone had bad lighting, didn’t look in the camera eye, they weren’t even considered.”

While Corcoran admitted that her standards were “kind of tough”, she saw those details as revealing an applicant’s level of ambition.

“Not everyone has that experience or even knows to get a Ring light,” she said. “But it’s a lack of preparation. I gotta believe that if someone really wants it they’re going to find a way to not have that happen. So we’re a little tough like that. And I think life has gotten tough on people, interviewing online. But it should be – it’s part of our culture now.”

Always look a ‘Shark’ in the eye

When asked what makes her utter those infamous words “I’m out” the most frequently on Shark Tank, Corcoran immediately named her dealbreaker.

“A guy founder who doesn’t make eye contact with me or the women on the set,” she responded. “It happens more than you think. They want a guy as a partner and that’s where it ends – and you can tell right away when they stand on that set.”

Though Corcoran admitted that some entrepreneurs entering the Tank may not be looking the Sharks in the eye due to nerves, she considers a lack of eye contact as a bad sign for a business partner.

“Even when they’re not making eye contact because they’re intimidated I’m out right away,” the real estate mogul explained. “And I’m out for a good reason: Because building a business takes a lot of on-the-spot pressure, fast-on-your-feet kind of thinking. You have to be able to perform under pressure. And I see right away this person is going to fold under pressure.”


‘Shark Tank’s’ Barbara Corcoran Says She Felt Like a ‘Fraud’ After Selling Her Business

‘Shark Tank’ star prefers those ‘strong with the eyes’

Corcoran went into further detail on why she considers holding someones gaze as significant at first glance.

“I will tell you the reverse of it, by the way,” the Shark Tank panelist remarked. “When people are good with their eye contact, even if after a while they have to look down when they start getting scared, but when they initially get out there and make good eye contact, they’re always good entrepreneurs. If they’re really strong with the eyes… boom! I feel like I’m looking right into their soul.”

Corcoran added, “And I bet if you ask yourself about who you’ve interviewed, you’ve never hired someone with bad eye contact.”