Body language is one of the major forms of non-verbal communication. When trying to get employment, job seekers naturally devote a lot of attention to their portfolio. That is a great strategy, but those are not the only things that need to be considered. An impressive job video performance can get you the dream job, but unfortunately your video interview can be completely undermined by body language quirks. 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:
Some of the worst body language quirks are made completely unconscious. For example, many of us have simple actions we do primarily out of habit and boredom. These might be fooling with your hair, rubbing your hands, bouncing leg movements or other minor quirks that are often unnoticeable at first but which become annoying to others over time. If you are repeatedly engaging in some unconscious movements during your video interview, it will eventually detract from where you want the interviewer’s attention to be, which is on what you are saying.
PLAYING WITH YOUR HAIR
Many women do this without even realizing it, particularly when they’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.
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.
If nervous energy causes you to bite your nails or tap your foot during video interview, try taking some deep breadths to calm yourself down. Excessive fidgeting can distract the interviewer from focusing on what you have to say, which won’t help you land the job.
There are reasons to dress up for a video interview. One is that you’ll make a more professional impression; you should dress just as you would do for an in-person interview. The other is that dressing for the job you want will boost your confidence and improve your overall performance. “You definitely want to make sure you’re impeccable: your collar is clean, your tie is tied properly,” Drexler said. Experts also caution against wearing too much jewelry, which can be distracting, especially when combined lights. “Just because you’re in a casual setting does not mean you should dress casually,” Essman, a career expert said. “You do want to carry yourself in a professional manner, and that obviously starts with attire.”
GOING OVERBOARD WITH HAND GESTURES
Lastly, 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 interpretative dance with your arms.