By Jennifer Parris
FlexJobs, November 30, 2017 —
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 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.
You’ll not only want to use this interview to highlight your skills and qualifications, but you may also want to take this opportunity to show the employer that you’re comfortable on video with your body language, a communication tool you might be expected to use frequently in a remote work environment.
To make a great impression during a video interview, and to come off as a calm and confident job candidate, practice and follow these seven video interview body language tips as best you can:
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 (and not at your computer screen). By doing so, you’ll establish a better connection to your interviewer.
2. Sit up straight.
Having good posture during your interview shows that you’re alert, interested, and engaged. Slouching in your seat can make it seem like you’re a little too casual, and possibly 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 he’s 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 he’s saying.
While nodding once in a while is good—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 he’s 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 interview when it feels right. And if your interviewer says something funny, smile and laugh!
Job interviews don’t have to be so serious, and if you smile, you can increase your likability factor—and your chance of getting hired.