Body language is important during any sort of job interview, but it becomes absolutely crucial when you’re doing a video interview. Since you’re not face-to-face with the other person, the hiring manager will rely on your tone of voice, hand gestures, and other subtle cues to get a sense of who you are and if you’d be a good fit for the job. Before you head into a video interview, become aware of some of the body language quirks that can hurt you during the conversation. They include:
Playing with your hair
Many women do this without even realizing it, particularly when we’re thinking or are nervous. Fight this urge during a video interview, as it can make you look unprofessional and immature. If you absolutely need something to do with your hands, hold onto a pen instead.
Your posture makes a huge difference in a video interview, so be highly aware of it. When you slouch, you come across as lazy or insecure. If you lean back in your chair, it can signal to the interviewer that you would rather be watching TV. Make it a point to sit up straight, keep your shoulders relaxed, and smile.
Going overboard with hand gestures
Talking with your hands to illustrate a point is okay to some extent, but going overboard quickly becomes distracting. Be aware of what your hands are doing as you’re speaking. A few subtle movements every now and then are okay, but you want the interviewer to be focused on your words, not on why it looks like you’re doing an interpretive dance with your arms.
Some people roll their eyes as they talk in an attempt to be self-deprecating, but doing so during an interview comes across as snarky. Instead, if you’re recording your answers, look straight into the camera in a relaxed yet pleasant way. When you’re speaking to someone over a webcam, maintain strong eye contact.
Just as you would practice your answers before an interview, it’s smart to check out your body language ahead of time too. Deliver your answers while facing the mirror, and watch how you look as you speak. Are you slouching? Going overboard with head movements? Make note of this and adjust accordingly when it’s time for your real video interview.
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