The use of video interviews had increased 49% since 2011. And while 93% of communication comes from body language, it is no less important in a video interview when all that is usually seen is your head and shoulders. Positive body language includes nodding to show understanding, eye contact to show interest and confidence, genuine smiling which conveys warmth and approachability, and a slight lean forward to demonstrate interest, concern and understanding. Negative body language includes a furrowed brow, frowning, lack of eye contact and leaning back. These all convey a lack of interest, discomfort with the interview, disagreement, lack of confidence and even perceived dishonesty.
What can you do in a video interview to make a positive, nonverbal impression? Here are several tips I have compiled from a number of different sources:
- Practice answering interview questions ahead of time. Video interviewing can feel similar to public speaking in a number of ways. When the microphone switches on, it is almost like stepping up on stage. Practice your tone and pace ahead of time.
- Frame your face. Adjust your webcam to focus from mid-torso to just the top of your head.
- Dress as if you are meeting in person. Do not just dress up from the waist up. There is always a chance that when you shift in your chair your leg will show in whatever jeans or pajama pants you’re wearing. Also, cameras have a nasty habit of shifting sometimes.
- Look at the camera, NOT at the screen! The person interviewing you doesn’t want to feel like you’re staring at their lap.
- Test the setting and lighting. Make sure the background isn’t cluttered or distracting and that the blinds don’t cause stripes across your face!
- Don’t fidget. It will show just as much on camera as it would in person, plus it may cause unwanted noise.
- Practice with the technology so that you know how to work the features and microphone when the real event begins.
- Be mindful of the time. Be informative but succinct.
- Smile and speak slowly so that you appear relaxed and confident.
- As always, research the company and prepare for the interview with questions you may have.
Video interviewing can be a great opportunity to showcase your talent from the comfort of your own home. Follow these tips and approach it as if you were in person and you are sure to present your best!