Video communication in the workplace is becoming the norm, and for good reason. The level of connection, interaction, and engagement you get over a video call is much greater than from a phone call. And a big part of that is body language.
Only 7% of communication comes from the words you say. The rest of your message is better conveyed through how you say those words, and how you look when you’re saying them.
Which means that body language is incredibly important to all communication. And if there was ever a time when you wanted to send a clear, positive message, it’s during an interview.
So how can you improve your body language during a video interview?
Maintain eye contact.
Eye contact communicates presence and respect. It tells the person you’re talking to that you care about what they’re saying, and that you’re listening intently. (When you glance away, it could appear as though you’re checking another screen or being distracted by something off camera.) It also conveys confidence and surety without coming across as haughty, which definitely works in your favor during an interview. Remember: in a video chat, keeping eye contact means looking at the camera, not at yourself!
Manage your facial expressions.
An eye roll speaks volumes—and usually doesn’t work in your favor. Be aware of facial expressions like these, and do your best to manage them. This could include furrowing or raising your eyebrows, blinking out of confusion or sarcasm, pursing your lips, or pulling a face. The majority of the time, you want to keep your expression pleasantly neutral. Smile at appropriate times, but not constantly.
Relax (but not too much).
You want to come across as calm and collected during your interview. Get in a comfortable position that allows you to sit up straight or lean in (leaning in, by the way, signals interest in what the other person is saying). Don’t put yourself in a position that is going to make you want to recline back, slouch, or fidget around trying to get comfortable. Additionally, avoid nervous habits like nail biting, pen clicking, wringing your hands, and so on.
Show active interest.
Use your body language to demonstrate that you are actively engaged in the conversation. Nod, smile genuinely, or laugh when appropriate. It’s polite, and it shows that you are actively involved in what the other person is saying.
Gesture naturally, but not excessively.
If you’re a person who talks with their hands, you can still do that during a video interview. In fact, it will probably help you feel more comfortable and come across as more natural. That said, gesturing too much can be distracting for your interviewer, so if you gesture excessively or as a nervous habit, try to keep it in check and keep your arms at your sides for most of the interview. (As a side note, crossed arms can send a message that you are closed off, so avoid that if possible.)
The best thing you can do during a video interview is simply act natural and be yourself. If you can do that as you implement these body language tips, you’ll come across as genuine, personable, and hopefully, a fantastic candidate for the open position. Best of luck!
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