Non-verbal Mistakes to Avoid in your next Video Interview

There are a lot of different factors that impact the outcome of an interview; it’s not always as straightforward as simply answering all the questions correctly. According to CollegeJournal, an interview comprises of 55% body language, 7% verbal communication, and 38% paralanguage or intonation. It’s clear that non-verbal communication is not just essential, but exceptionally vital to ace the process.

What is non-verbal communication? A definition from describes non-verbal communication as “behaviour and elements of speech aside from the words themselves that transmit meaning. Non-verbal communication includes pitch, speed, tone and volume of voice, gestures and facial expressions, body posture, stance, and proximity to the listener, eye movements and contact, and dress and appearance.”

Non-verbal communication is important in all interview settings - check out some non-verbal mistakes to avoid in your next video interview.

While it might be tempting to complete your video interview wearing a crisp white blouse and your pyjama bottoms, we’d recommend you dress as you would for a face-to-face interview. Yes, your interviewer won’t be able to know if you’re wearing trousers, a skirt or your pjs – but ‘power’ dressing will give you more confidence and the recruiter will be able to see that. A white shirt or block colour is best for a video interview. Research the company culture, and try to match the offices dress code. It’ll show the recruiter that you spent time prepping for this interview and that you really want the job!

Eye Contact
Eye contact can be a big indicator of confidence and self-assurance. Elevate your laptop by putting a few books underneath to put your camera at eye level. Look straight into the camera to make ‘eye contact’ with the recruiter who will be reviewing your interview. You can even put a sticker or photo just behind the camera, if it helps you to focus. On the other side of the spectrum, don’t forget to blink! Keep eye contact casual and relaxed. Don’t look at notes or away from the camera when answering the question – this will make you look unsure of your answer and disinterested. With Sonru, candidate reading time is not recorded, so use this time to quickly glance at notes or to compose your thoughts.

Good posture is important in every interview setting. Leaning back and crossing your arms and/or legs can come across as either not interested or as overly confident or arrogant. This is the case in a video interview too. Don’t complete your video interview sitting on your bed, or while lounging on your beanbag chair. Sit confidently, lean forward slightly and show the recruiter how excited you are to be a part of the process.

Hand Gestures
Hand gestures display a certain enthusiasm and can reinforce the point you are trying to make in a conversation. Overly dramatic gestures however, can look forced and may shed doubt on their authenticity. Distracting hand gestures or fidgeting can be signs of nervousness and they take attention away from you and what you’re saying. If you know that you’re prone to fidgeting or large hand gestures, place your hands on your lap or the armrest of your chair. Try not to play with your hands, hair or pen.

Finally, don’t forget to smile! Sure, interviews can be nerve wracking and you’re concentrating on showcasing the best of your experience and personality. But, don’t forget that recruiters want to see the real you, not a perfect robot. Mistakes are normal, so make sure to smile, and even make a funny comment if you think it’s appropriate.

Non-verbal cues help recruiters to see the big picture and to uncover inconsistencies or potential issues. To increase your chances of interview success, be consciously aware of your nonverbal communication and avoid these mistakes. Before you complete your video interview, check out some more advice from one of our Support Agents. Recruiters, see why the rise of emoticons should make you rethink your recruitment process and the way you assess candidates in this great blog post.