What are tips for interview body language in a video interview?
To help job seekers practice virtual interview body language etiquette, we asked hiring managers and business leaders this question for their best tips. From sitting up straight to making sure you maintain small gestures, there are several tips when it comes to the proper interview body language during a video interview.
Here are 13 interview body language tips these interviewers ask you to follow:
- Stand Up Straight
- Look at Yourself
- When in Doubt, Nod
- Practice With a Webcam Instead of a Mirror
- Don’t Be Rigid
- Don’t Cross Your Arms or Legs
- Pay Attention to the Interviewer’s Posture
- Maintain Eye Contact
- Remember to Smile
- Keep Your Voice Low
- Stay Within the Frame
- Lean In
- Maintain Small Gestures
Stand Up Straight
Stand up straight. Sitting hunched over or slouching in a chair comes across as unprofessional and like you don’t care to be there. Standing up straight shows that you’re engaged and listening to what the hiring manager has to say. It also helps with your confidence levels so you can portray the best version of yourself during the interview.
Look at Yourself
One of my favorite ways to maintain positive body language during a video interview is to look away from my interviewers and instead, direct my attention to myself. If you’re watching yourself answer a question, not only are you much more likely to be aware of your facial expressions and posture, but you’re also probably going to be less nervous. Your interviewers will never be able to tell, and you’ll have an easier time being yourself and communicating to the best of your ability, both with your words and your body language.
Michael Fischer, Founder, Elite Hat
When in Doubt, Nod
My personal opinion is that you shouldn’t interject an enthusiastic “That sounds amazing!” when your interviewer is describing the atmosphere at the company. Here, the skillful use of a nod becomes crucial. You should nod in agreement with what the interviewer is saying; this shows that you’re paying attention and helps establish rapport. Do not feel obligated to nod your head constantly, though. It’s important to maintain a natural rhythm of nodding—enough to show that you’re paying attention and interested in what the interviewer is saying, but not so much that it comes across as forced or comical.
Practice With a Webcam Instead of a Mirror
Unlike in-person interviews, where you practice in front of a mirror, practices for virtual interviews need webcams instead of mirrors. Practicing in front of a webcam gives you a more accurate picture of how the other party sees you during the actual interview.
The best part about using a webcam is that everything is recordable. Record yourself practicing and study the video afterward. Be nitpicky when reviewing the footage, especially for problem areas that need work.
You can show the recording to family and friends and have them comment on what needs improving. Other people can see your flaws more clearly than yourself, so it’s better to get input from others.
Don’t Be Rigid
Don’t be stiff as a board during your interview. While you shouldn’t be completely casual, an experienced professional should have an air of relaxation when in a video interview. Your body language can say a lot about how comfortable you are when you are speaking.
If you’re still and rigid when you’re speaking about your experiences and credentials, that can come off as the sort of nervousness one might have when they are unsure of their skills. You want to stay loose, calm, and attentive and demonstrate your confidence through your posture and body language. Being unnaturally stiff won’t do you any favors.
Don’t Cross Your Arms or Legs
There’s a temptation to fold your arms in front of you whenever you speak to avoid making wild gestures. Sadly, it may cause others to interpret your body language as closed off and upset, or at the very least, as hunched over and uncomfortable. You don’t want to give off that impression, so be sure to keep both of your feet on the ground. By doing so, you will appear more friendly and approachable. You also won’t have to worry about appearing bored or irritated by repeatedly crossing and uncrossing your legs. If you promise not to fidget, you can put your hands in your lap (twiddle your thumbs, tap your legs). You can also rest your arms on the armrests if you prefer not to use them.
Pay Attention to the Interviewer’s Posture
One of the challenges of video interviews is that it can be difficult to gauge the interviewer’s body language. Are they really engaged, or are they just looking at the screen? Here are a few tips to help you read body language during a video interview:
First, pay attention to the interviewer’s posture. Are they sitting up straight and making eye contact, or are they slouching and looking away? Second, watch for cues like nodding or finger-tapping. These can be signals that the interviewer is interested in what you’re saying. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions if you’re not sure about the interviewer’s response. By reading body language cues, you can get a better sense of how the interview is going and whether or not you’re making a good impression.
Maintain Eye Contact
I believe, one of the most important aspects of a successful interview is making eye contact with the interviewer. However, during a video interview, it can be difficult for candidates to know where to look while talking. Focus your attention on the camera and away from the screen during the recording. You can’t afford to look away from the interviewer, even if it’s for a split second. Put a cover over your “self view” if you can’t resist looking at yourself in the mirror. However, just like in a face-to-face interview, it is acceptable to avoid constant eye contact. Constant staring can be intimidating and uncomfortable.
A Simple Smile Can Make a Difference
One effective tip for body language during an interview that is simple to utilize, is a friendly smile. A smile is a great way to show confidence during an interview. Smiling also is a non-vocal way of “breaking the ice” with an interviewer, due to exuding positivity, therefore removing anxiety, and tension, when applied practically.
Chris Coote, Founder & CEO, California Honey Vapes
Keep Your Voice Low
It’s my opinion that how you present yourself through your body language in a video interview can make or break your chances of getting the job. If you follow these guidelines, your body language will reflect your expertise and professionalism. In my opinion, one of the best ways to master body language during an interview is to actually participate in a few.
Stay Within the Frame
Too many scattered movements or arm signals can be a sign of restlessness and unease. Make sure you keep your upper body, including your hands, within the frame so that the interviewer can evaluate you without getting overwhelmed by your body language. That said, you want to avoid being too stiff or unenthusiastic. The key is to practice so you can find the right balance so can present a demeanor of confidence.
In most situations, when someone says something fascinating, you naturally lean in to hear more. When conducting a video interview, though, there’s only so much leaning in that can be done before you become nothing but a huge eyeball to the hiring manager. You should lean in slightly when the hiring manager is speaking, as this shows interest and enthusiasm but could be off-putting if done excessively. During a video interview, leaning forward a few inches can convey your attention.
Maintain Small Gestures
I’ve noticed that a lot of individuals use hand gestures to add drama to their tales and emphasize their points when they’re talking. Most people, however, are oblivious to the extent to which they rely on and make use of their hands. Using your hands a lot or making too dramatic movements can come across as aggressive or nervous. When answering questions on camera, you should feel free to use hand gestures. After all, nobody thinks you should keep your hands in your lap for the entire video interview, and it would be strange if you never made any hand gestures at all. Remember to keep it to a minimum.
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