Body language tips to nail a video interview
As more and more Business Schools are shifting to Online platforms for conducting personal interviews, it is important that you are well prepared with the nuances involved in a video/online interview, and nail it. How different is a video interview from an in-person interview? How should you dress for a video interview? What kind of body language does one maintain when all you have is a screen to make that first impression? Here are some very useful tips to handle a video interview with elan.
By Kalyani Majumdar
First and foremost, in order to make your video interview a success you need to organise a few things before the actual interview.
- Clutter free space in your home/ hostel.
- Ensure that the wall behind you does not have posters or objects, as that can be distracting.
- The room should be well lit.
- Check your internet connection.
- Test your webcam and microphone.
- You must know how to navigate the interview program beforehand, such as, Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom etc.
- Dress formally.
- Keep a notepad and a pen handy as you might need to solve a question.
- Keep a glass or bottle of water for yourself.
Body language is as important during an online interview as it is during an in-person interview. Exuding confidence and a positive attitude are a must and these two personality traits will reflect on the way you sit, stand, talk which will be evaluated by an interviewer. So, let us take a look at these tips.
Smile and greet: Again, a very basic rule, and just because we are behind a screen does not make us less humans. So, smile and greet the interviewer/s. It will also make you more relaxed and confident. But please make sure that it is a genuine one. This will also help you to have an upbeat tone to your voice that shows that you are excited about this interview.
Maintaining eye contact: Look directly at the camera as you speak and not the screen. You might have to practise it a few times with your friends and record yourself and then watch where your eyes are. It is very important that you maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Just try to imagine that this is an in-person interview.
Good posture while sitting: Since this will be a video interview so most likely you would be already sitting when you come online. So, keep your spine straight and avoid slouching your shoulders. Sitting with your spine straight not only makes you look confident and poised but you are also more attentive. Don’t sit at the edge of the chair and don’t lean back either. Just choose a middle spot on the chair and sit straight. Plant your feet firmly on the floor.
Engage better: In a face to face interview when the interviewer says something interesting, it is a natural response to lean in. Now in a video interview you can do the same just lean forward a little not too much as to bump on the screen. But, you get the point, right? But never lean back so much that you are resting your back on the chair, as it shows you are too casual and not interested in the conversation.
Also, slightly tilt your head to one side while listening, that shows that you are open and friendly.
Don’t cross your arms: Yes, now we will talk about those pesky things called the hands and most of the time we don’t know what to do with them. Rule number one. Never cross your arms. This posture shows that you are either closed or defiant.
Secondly, rest your arms either on your lap or on the table. Even while talking a slight hand movement is good, but flailing your hands wildly and trying to make a point is a big no. Please practise in front of a camera a few times. Record yourself and see if you are too animated.
How much nodding is the right amount: You might have seen some people nodding their head so vigorously that you almost feel they are just nodding for the sake of doing so and looks comical. Please don’t do that. Be selective with your nods. Nod slightly as your interviewer speaks as that shows that you are genuinely listening.
These are some of the basic tips to have the right body language for you to look confident and genuine in your video interview. All the best!
(The writer is an NLP and Yoga Practitioner)