5 body language habits to be aware of in video interviews
Video interviews have all but replaced the traditional in-person interview process this year.
But while most people are now comfortable with meeting and interacting via video for general purposes, preparing for a video interview presents a different set of challenges.
Specifically, you need to adapt your body language and communication style to avoid sending the wrong message to your interviewer.
This article will introduce you to five body language habits to be aware of for your next video interview.
1. Make sure your eye contact is effective for video.
As Mashable points out, making eye contact in person is fairly easy.
Making effective eye contact in a video setting is often far more challenging. As you can’t know for sure what your interviewer’s screen setup is like, you want to balance your time between looking directly into your webcam and focusing on your interviewer’s eyes on your screen.
This gives you the best chance of coming across as someone who is comfortable and confident making direct eye contact.
What NOT to do: Whatever you do, do not look at your own picture on the video screen! If this feels too tempting to avoid, try to find a screen setting that minimises or removes your own image from your screen.
2. Maintain a relaxed and calm posture.
We all have our “comfort positions” that help us to feel safe and confident in high stress situations like an interview.
Here is an example. In an in-person interview, if you decide to cross your legs and then uncross them and then cross them again, your interview can see exactly what you are doing and understand why you are moving in this way.
But on a video interview, your interviewer may only be able to see the upper third of your body, if even that. So the constant position shifts can come across as nervous fidgeting.
What NOT to do: Whatever you do, do not assume you can wear whatever you want from the waist down. You never know when you may need to get up or shift positions and you want to be professional from head to toe.
3. Use nodding judiciously during your video interview.
As Forbes points out, nodding is a great way to express comprehension and agreement – if not done to excess.
But with too much nodding, you start to look like one of those bobbing head dolls that were so popular back in the 1990s.
What NOT to do: Whatever you do, do not become overly rigid with your posture. To the best of your ability, try to stay relaxed in your head, shoulders and body.
4. Keep background noise to a bare minimum.
Another big challenge when interviewing via video is to manage any background noise effectively.
From buzzing phones to honking cars, you may not have total control over what is taking place in your environment during your video interview.
What NOT to do: Whatever you do, do not forget to silence any alerts or notifications on the device you use to participate in the interview.
5. Avoid talking with your hands.
It is all too easy to forget that any normal hand gestures you are making to express your point will likely not appear on your interviewer’s video screen.
What NOT to do: Whatever you do, don’t try to simply move your hand gestures up into view of the video screen. Not only will this not be effective, but it come across as a barrier between you and your interviewer.