The pandemic has changed many things, including the way we interview. If you feel video interviews are more comfortable than in-person interviews, then I suppose you haven’t been through one, right? We say this because several factors come into play during a virtual interview along with your preparation and aptitude, like tech and ‘video call etiquette.’ etc.
Video interviews might be good for introverts or candidates that get nervous in an interview setting as they can get a sense of comfort while giving interviews from their homes. But virtual interviews require as much preparation as offline interviews or even more. Nevertheless, job preparation, correct body language, upright posture, and confidence are the keys to success in any interview.
In this article, I’ll outline 7 body language tips for a video interview, along with some additional suggestions that can be very valuable for your next virtual interview.
7 Body language tips for a video interview
1. Maintain eye contact
While you might feel that you are maintaining eye contact by looking at the screen or your own video, you may need to look at the camera directly to make eye contact with the interviewer. Eye contact is essential in an interview and gives out a good impression. Of course, staring at the camera non-stop can make you and the interviewer slightly uncomfortable.
Try to be natural and take away your glance once in a while, as you would in an in-person interview. You can also disable self-view to avoid the temptation to look at your video.
2. Pay attention to your posture
Sit in an appropriate chair to maintain a good posture. However, It's ok if you don't want to invest in an office chair for one interview. Place a cushion or a pillow behind your back (that’s not visible to the interviewer) so that you don’t slouch or lean.
Always sit upright with your back straight and hands on the table. It will give the hiring manager the impression that you are engaged and interested in the job, whereas when you slump down, it may appear that you don’t care enough about the job interview.
3. Avoid over gesturing
It's natural to gesture while explaining your point. But some people gesture so much that their movements may seem animated during a video interview and it can be incredibly distracting. Practice giving an interview in front of a mirror or a video to analyze your movements to minimize gesturing.
4. Distance from the camera
Leaning a little towards the camera shows that you are attentive and interested in what the interviewer has to say but leaning too close and too frequently to the camera can irk the interviewer. Maintain an arm's length distance from the camera. Since it's natural to lean in when someone talks, you can paste a stick-it note on your desk to remind yourself to maintain an appropriate distance from the camera.
5. Uncross your arms and legs
In an attempt to sit up straight or avoid gesturing, you might sit with your arms crossed. But this can make you appear too uptight, nervous, and uncomfortable. Place your hands on the desk or your lap and plant your feet firmly on the ground. Also, avoid fidgeting, many hiring managers state that fidgeting is the most common distraction during an interview. It makes you look nervous and inattentive.
6. Nod when necessary
Although it's important to nod your head to appear engaged and interested and to establish a connection with the interviewer, unnecessary nodding may seem artificial and absurd.
If you genuinely listen to what the interviewer is saying without being interruptive, then nodding will come off naturally.
Smiling is a gesture that makes you approachable, friendly, and likable. Though, too much smiling during an interview is highly inappropriate and may take away the seriousness of the situation. Smile softly when your interviewer says something funny.
Be polite and speak in a tone that’s neither too loud nor so low that the interviewer has trouble hearing you.
Other tips to consider for a virtual interview:
- Dress appropriately and wear formal attire. Do not wear a blazer over your pajamas. Our clothes give us confidence and aid in maintaining the correct posture. Dress as you want to be perceived- professional, confident, and right for the job. Go for subtle tones instead of flashy colors.
Take care of your background. While there’s an option to choose a virtual background, I recommend a neat and uncluttered backdrop rather than a distracting artificial background that makes your hands and gestures disappear occasionally. It might slow down the system too. Ensure the lighting is appropriate and your face is clearly visible.
Eliminate distractions by informing your family members well ahead of time so they don’t interrupt during an interview. But still, if your pets or kids cause a distraction, don’t lose your composure. Simply apologize politely and quickly eliminate distractions.
Get familiar with the online platform to be used for the interview. Check your microphone and camera. Confirm that the laptop is charged and doesn’t start updating during the interview.
Have a practice session with your friend or family member on the online interview platform.
Be present and ready 10 minutes before the interview.
Being well-prepared is the most crucial requirement to clear an interview. If you are not thoroughly aware of the job role or company profile and don’t have the relevant knowledge, then no matter how confident or spruced up you are, you won’t crack the interview.
Firstly, prepare for the role by going through the common interview questions on the internet, then take care of your body language, tone of voice, background, and technical issues. Clearing an interview is a complete process that requires preparation, planning, perseverance, and self-awareness.
Following these body language tips for video interviews and other suggestions may help you land your dream job and initiate a successful professional journey.
Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their aspirations in careers and life. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.
Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.