How to Use Body Language in Virtual Meetings and Interviews

Feb 21, 2021 by Sharon Koifman in remote work, guest post (5 minute read)

Hello friends! Please enjoy this guest post about body language tips from Sharon Koifman, founder and president of distantjob.com.

Interviewer on sofa

The new normal is now the norm that really isn't new anymore and it's here to stay.

All of us are in a much better place, don't you think? No more wasting time on long commutes, no more extra expenditure on clothing and office lunches, and a lot of video meetings—because remote work is now a lifestyle.

Video meetings and interviews are great because wearing pajamas when nobody can see them is awesome, but there's a lot more to your everyday virtual meetings that needs attention. This goes for everyone—the employee, the employer, and hiring managers.

When interviewing a remote candidate, there's a lot to be kept in mind by the recruitment team to be able to create an impression and gauge the candidate.

As a remote recruiter, your job doesn't stop at having good video conferencing equipment for the best video conferencing experience, but also extends to what you're actually doing on that video interview.

If you thought just looking your best and being well-groomed is all that's needed to conduct or take a virtual interview, then you've not been paying attention. That's alright because we're here to help you with everything that you need to take care of in your virtual meetings and Interviews.

Getting straight to the point, the right body language is your best friend.

How to Use the Right Body Language in Virtual Meetings?

1. Expressions Speak Louder Than Words

If you were to conduct a face-to-face interview, we're sure you'd pay a lot more attention. You'd at least appear more attentive because you're more conscious when you're physically present. This is because you are aware of your surroundings. You're in a professional setting.

On a virtual call it is easy to get distracted because you're physically at your home or a cafe. You might not even realize, but this is very visible and makes you look like you're disinterested and mentally absent. Since virtual meetings and interviews are all about your face and upper body, make your interest apparent with more facial expressions.

  • Being more animated shows that you're energetic and enthusiastic.
  • Every grin, nod and blink matters. Make sure you're using your facial expressions well to emphasize your points.
  • Your eye movements can tell a lot. If you're looking elsewhere, it will be caught in an instant. Focus on the screen. Don't make the candidate feel like you're disinterested.

2. Your Posture Can Make or Break You

You don't have to break your back for this one, or maybe you do? Jokes apart, posture plays a big role in virtual meetings and interviews. You might think that it doesn't really show or matter, but it does. Just like you wouldn't slouch in a face-to-face interview, remember to not do the same in a virtual meeting.

Also, don't be all spread out on your couch like you're watching a Netflix series, because you're not. You're in a virtual meeting, remember that. Your posture does show through that 6 inch screen. Nobody will be fooled. You're possibly asking the most relevant questions and following the best remote recruitment process, but a bad posture can convey a lot more wrong things that can't be done right. Don't create a negative impression of yourself because you represent the company you work for. You don't want to lose a good candidate because of bad body language.

  • Sit upright. It is best to use a chair to help you with keeping your back straight. This makes you look professional and interested in the candidate.
  • Avoid sitting on a bed or a couch as that will result in a hunch sooner than you think.
  • Sitting upright not only makes you appear more confident but also makes you feel so. You'll not feel lazy and will automatically be more attentive in your virtual meeting.

3. Your Reputation Is In Your Hands

Literally! A lot of people tend to fill the screen with just their faces and though that's not a problem, it limits you in a lot of ways. You're missing out on hand gestures and that could mean missing out on a good chunk of involvement in the virtual meeting or interview. That's why it's best to place your device in a way that allows your entire upper body to be visible too and not just your face.

Not using hand gestures can come across as indifference, so make sure that while your upper body is visible, you're using your hands as you speak.

Hand gestures coupled with facial expressions help you express a lot better.

  • If you have something to say, you can raise your hand.
  • You include a lot of other gestures when you include your shoulders and your hands in the conversation. You will be able to shrug your shoulders when needed.
  • As you speak, your hand movements will display your enthusiasm and excitement a lot better than just a face will.
  • Hand movements coupled with facial expressions make the interview more inclusive. You appear more approachable and it becomes easier for the candidate to open up.

4. Don't Look At Yourself

This one might come across as a surprise, but if you've noticed carefully, a lot of people look at their screen or themselves on the screen when it's their turn to talk. In a virtual meeting or interview it's easy to lose track of your eye movements because you're used to looking at your screen when there's something on it.

When conducting virtual interviews or meetings, remember to look at the camera when it's your turn to speak because if this meeting was to happen face-to-face, you'd look into the person's eyes when you talk and not at their cheek!

  • Look directly into the camera when it's your turn to speak.
  • If you're taking notes, try to do so on the same computer screen so that you don't have to keep changing your gaze from one screen to another. It can make you look inattentive.
  • Make sure that you blink normally as you don't want to appear like you're staring at the candidate.

5. Smile More Than You Actually Do

Yes, in a virtual interview, smiling is very important. The candidate is probably nervous and you don't want to appear like you're here to judge them (you're here for that, but you don't need to make the environment a nervous one). Make sure that you smile often, especially while talking and asking questions.

Make sure your smile is genuine because a fake smile is very easy to catch and can be a very unpleasant experience for the candidate or the people in the meeting. A genuine smile is always reassuring and gives out a signal that you're friendly and approachable. If you talk with a blank face, you might appear curt and cold, even if you're not actually being rude.

In order to have a pleasant experience yourself along with creating one for the remote candidate, make sure you smile enough.

  • Smile genuinely.
  • Smile more when it's your turn to speak.
  • A nod coupled with a smile is very reassuring.

Master the Art of Body Language in the Remote World

If you've paid attention to what you just read, chances are that your next virtual interview will be your best virtual interview. If you've not stepped into the remote work world yet and are about to take some virtual Interviews, take notes.

Whether you're a remote business owner, employee, or a hiring manager, everything eventually boils down to your conduct in virtual meetings and interviews. Having the perfect skill-set or being a remote recruitment manager of a good company is great. However, being able to convince the person on the other end of the screen about why you're the best fit is a task only accomplished by the right body language in your virtual meetings and interviews. Remember, the first impression is all about the right expression!



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