7 body language tips for a video interview

Shutterstock

Job interviews can be stressful enough, but video interviews somehow have the ability to take your nerves to an entirely new level…especially if you’ve never done one before! However, if you’re interviewing for a remote role or a position with a hiring manager in another city or country, there’s a good chance they’ll use Skype or another video chatting platform to conduct the interview.

This will force you to think through a handful of items, including your body language during a video interview, as well as other essential tidbits.


Follow Ladders on Flipboard!

Follow Ladders’ magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness, Productivity, Job Satisfaction, Neuroscience, and more!


Having a successful video interview will require extra effort on your part, compared to a phone or in-person interview. Not only will you need to prepare a clutter-free space in your home, you’ll also need to test your tech by ensuring your Internet connection is strong and you know how to navigate the interview program, whether it be Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, or another platform. A decent webcam and microphone are necessary to provide a professional image and to ensure your interviewer doesn’t have any trouble seeing or hearing you properly.

Once you have all the basics down, it’s imperative that you present the best body language possible during a video interview. Body language is the nonverbal way we communicate with others, and your body language during a video interview can convey your internal feelings.

Presenting confidence, friendliness, and positivity should be your aim. How you sit, stand, and gesture all play a part in how your interviewer will evaluate you. Below we have seven tips to help you be aware of your body language when interviewing. Use these tips to present your best self and land the role.

7 Body Language Tips for a Video Interview

1. Maintain good eye contact

Looking directly at your interviewer is important during any interview, but especially so for a video interview. Thing is, some job seekers might find it challenging to know exactly where to look during the interview while they are talking.

Make it a point to look directly into the camera, rather than your computer screen. Looking at yourself on the screen will show that your eyes are looking elsewhere and may cause the interviewer to feel a disconnect. Just as you would look directly at the interviewer in an in-person interview, and not to the left or right, focus your attention on them during a video interview as well. You’ll establish a better connection.

2. Sit up straight

Having good posture during your interview shows that you’re alert, interested, and engaged. Slouching in your seat can look unprofessional and make it seem like you’re a little too casual—and therefore not as interested in the position as you should be.

If you think that you might start to sink into your seat as the interview goes on, prop yourself up with a small—and unsightly—pillow. It’ll keep you sitting straight and paying attention.

3. Lean in, but not too far

Usually, when someone is saying something interesting, the natural response is to lean in closer. But if you’re doing a video interview, there’s only so far you can lean in before you’re just one big eyeball to your potential employer.

When you feel it’s natural to do so, you can lean in as the hiring manager is speaking…but not too far. Just leaning forward a few inches is often enough during a video interview to express your interest.

4. Try to keep gesturing to a minimum

Many people gesture as they speak to animate their stories or to get their point across. Problem is, most people don’t realize how often they use their hands until they see themselves on video. During your video interview, you can gesture as you speak but to a certain extent. After all, no one is expecting you to sit on your hands for the duration of your video interview—it would look odd if you didn’t gesture once in a while.

If you’re concerned that you might move your hands too much, you can always practice pre-interview to make sure your motions are kept to a minimum.

5. Don’t cross your arms or legs

In an attempt to keep from gesturing wildly, you might be tempted to fold your arms in front of you. Unfortunately, you might come across as closed off or upset by doing so. Since that’s not the image you want to present to a potential employer, keep your arms comfortably at your sides and your feet planted on the floor to make yourself look more open and engaged.

6. Nod when necessary

You don’t want to interrupt your interviewer with a boisterous, “That sounds amazing!” when they’re telling you about the company culture. That’s where the art of the nod comes in. You should nod as your interviewer is speaking; this conveys a connection between the two of you and shows that you’re listening to what they’re saying.

While nodding once in a while is encouraged during your video interview—nodding so often that you give yourself a headache isn’t. So be selective with your nods; do it often enough so that your interviewer knows you understand what they’re saying, but not too much as to look comical or not genuine.

7. Smile genuinely

Of course, smiling is a great way to show friendliness and approachability. When people try to force a smile, though, it can come across as fake, which can be a big turn off for a potential employer. So be sure to smile during your job interviewwhen it feels right. It’s been shown that smiling while speaking also makes you sound friendlier and can give you a more upbeat tone to your voice. And if your interviewer says something funny, smile and laugh!

Being aware of your body language during a video interview can be the difference between presenting yourself as a confident or nervous candidate. Follow these tips to showcase the best body language and let your skills and experience shine.

Interviewing for jobs but looking to fine-tune your approach? A FlexJobs career coach can help! Book an online career coaching appointment today to get tips and tricks and personalized feedback from one of our career experts.

Schedule your personalized career coaching session here

This article first appeared on Flex Jobs.