Enhancing Body Language for a Video Interview

Debra WheatmanBy: Debra Wheatman

Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is president of Careers Done Write, a premier career-services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries. Debra may be contacted directly at debra@careersdonewrite.com. Visit her site at: careersdonewrite.com. Follow Debra on Twitter.

The challenge, when conducting an interview over video conference, is the inherent distance between you and your interviewer despite the fact that you can see one another face-to-face. The subtle messages that are easily conveyed when physically present via natural body language are harder to express when you are looking into the camera rather than your interviewer’s face. Body language signaling readiness, maturity, and enthusiasm can still be expressed over a video feed if you follow these three steps:

  1. Select a well-lit, noise-free room. Think very carefully about the location you select to have your video conference call. Eliminating distractions and distracting elements from the room. Minimize distractions and ensure the room is well lit to alleviate any potential distractions. Your interviewer will be better able to pick up on your body language.
  2. Sit straight and lean forward slightly. Normally, mirroring your interviewer is the approach to take, but when conducting your interview over the web, take a more conservative approach by keeping your posture upright with a slight lean forward. This method ensures that the message conveyed by your body language is that you are prepared, ready, and paying full attention.
  3. Summarize what you just heard. To demonstrate your full comprehension of what’s been said to you by your interviewer, summarize what you’ve just heard, especially when discussing particularly important topics (for example, what your day-to-day work week will be like) to ensure that you are on the same page with your interviewer. Of course, be mindful to not give too long of a summary but just enough to show that nothing was lost via a bad connection or unexpected technical difficulty. This approach will indicate to your interviewer that you are a good listener and someone who can be trusted to take instruction intelligently.

Expect to conduct at least one video interview over the web when applying for jobs today. Companies save thousands of dollars in travel and recruiting expenses by leveraging technology to perform initial candidate screenings, so preparing for this reality is important to job search success. These three steps should help increase your odds of a call-back for interview numbers two and three.

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