Spark A Conversation: Body Language in Video Interviews

Here at Spark Hire, we want to help companies utilize the power of online video to find the best candidates. We get a lot of questions from readers about best practices for using online video in the hiring process. These posts will address those questions about how to find your next superstar employee.

Question: What body language cues should I look for in a video interview? -Jess from Santa Monica

Thank you for your question, Jess. Body language can tell you a whole lot about a candidate that you may not have noticed if you were not paying attention. Where candidate’s choose to look when they are talking to you, what they do with their arms and much more can give you clues as to if this candidate is lying or if they will be a not-so-great employee. You can spot this in an in-person interview, but you can also pick up on it right away in live video interviews and one-way video interviews. Let’s take a look at some of the body language signs you should be looking for in a video interview with a candidate and what that body language can tell you about them.

Eye Contact
Eye contact from a candidate is very important. A candidate that makes good eye contact is showing you they are confident, honest and giving you their undivided attention. In your video interviews, be sure to take a minute to concentrate on your candidate’s eye contact. If they are talking to you and looking down at their hands or at their desk, then what they are telling you may not be true. If they are failing to give you eye contact when you are speaking to them, then they may not be listening to what you are saying. This may be a sign that they don’t care much for this position and likely won’t be a great employee. If they are, however, giving you great eye contact then they may make for a great candidate and a great employee as well.

Crossed Arms
It’s fairly clear to most that crossing your arms is a defensive stance. If you are in a professional setting, like in a job interview, it is not a great idea to give off this defensive impression. Job seekers that sit across from you in their video interview with their arms crossed are not giving off the proper job interview body language. Be weary of these job seekers and be sure to ask questions on their motives and their career goals to get a better idea of why they are interested in your open position.

Slouching
Take a look at how your candidate is sitting in their chair as well. If they are slouching it gives off the impression that they are lazy and not particularly interested in this job interview or this open position. Candidates that sit up straight are more engaged in the interview and are portraying themselves in much better light. They care about the impression they are giving employers and make an effort to be sure that impression is a good one.

Fidgeting/Face Touching

Body language experts say that when someone is talking and touches their face- particularly their nose- what they are saying is likely a lie. This can help you decipher if the experience and skill set your candidate’s claim to have are true. If they touch their nose and face a lot in the video interview, then you might want to check up on their past job experience with their references. Fidgeting can be a sign of extreme nervousness. Remember that nervousness is not a sign of a bad candidate. Look past a candidate’s nerves and look more at their skill set and answers. However, an ultra-nervous candidate may mean that they don’t work well under pressure which may not be so great for your position.

Do you have a question you need answered? Spark a conversation with the Spark Hire team by submitting your question to blog(at)sparkhire.com or in the comments below.

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