Reading Body Language- 5 Red Flags to Look for in a Video Interview

Interviewers commonly seem to have one recurring expectation from their candidates- the right responses. A simple criteria used to assess your interviewee’s potential, however, there’s more than just their answers to be assessed during their video interview.

Your candidate’s body language has a lot of insights to offer when it comes to hinting the ability to be a great fit at your organization. With every answer there’s corresponding gestures and physical responses being displayed that deserve more attention than typically given. Not sure how to interpret your talent’s body language? Don’t stress, you don’t need to be an FBI agent to catch the subtle clues your interviewee is exhibiting.

This is why we’re sharing a quick crash course to help you make better hiring decisions, and detect red flags before it’s too late.

1) Poor Posture

Picture this: Your candidate, with a great resume, is now in front of the camera recording their answers to a video assessment. This individual is sitting with their shoulders slouched, arms crosses, disengaged and clearly not displaying much enthusiasm for the opportunity they’ve been presented with.

Excited professionals are easy to identify- they aren’t disinterested, distracted, or leaning back in their seats waiting for the interview to be over.  This is why posture is one of the first pillar to notice when reading the body language of others. Signs of boredom and too much of a casual tone simply show that your candidate would much rather be elsewhere- not the best first impression to be known for.

Look for professionals sitting with strong, straight backs displaying confidence and leadership skills- they’re always a safe bet versus a sloucher.

2) Darting Eye Contact

This may be stating the obvious, but eye contact can be a difficult area for some candidates to navigate during video interviews. The inability to look up and make eye contact with the camera, and even gazing at random objects makes one wonder what has this person so preoccupied in their mind.

Professionals with razor sharp focus are mentally tuned in to the interview without being distracted by their surrounding, or worse, need to zone out. Hiring managers make a conscious effort to avoid recruiting team members unable to make optimized eye contact. An early sign of hesitation in delivering presentations and meeting clients, exercising early caution is highly recommended if this behavior is witnessed. Experts also believe that candidates avoiding eye contact may not be  sharing the most sincere responses- yikes.

3) Restlessness & Fidgeting

We all know how challenging it can be to hold conversations with people that fidget. Whether it’s them tapping their feet, twirling their hair, or moving around without a clear reason- this nonverbal queue speaks volumes about someone. Understandably, interviews can make candidates nervous, but most interviews ease into a steady conversation flow without much trouble.

If you do notice your interviewee unable to break free from their distracted behavior, then unfortunately, this may not be the right person for the job. Inability to handle high pressure situation is not a trait that can prove to be a valuable asset for companies looking to grow.

4) Error 404: Smile Not Found

It’s hard to believe that the candidate is truly invested in building a future at your company if their smile is nowhere to be found. It’s only natural to smile warmly, and have contagious enthusiasm to show when you can’t wait to seize the opportunity you’re being interviewed for. A bored or stern expression is not only a sign of disinterest, but also someone that could negatively impact your organization’s vibrant culture.

5) Long Pauses

Everyone needs time to think before speaking- but delaying the pause into an awkward stretch can really wake up the crickets in the room. A long interval between the question and the response time can not only signal overthinking, but also that the candidate has possibly lost their trail of thought. Coming across disheveled, or worse even unprepared, look out for long breaks that may seem longer than usual.

6) Forgetting to Dress for Success

“It’s a video interview so there’s no need to dress for the job”– this is a misconception that needs to go away. Make sure that your candidate is dressed and groomed to match the expectations of the role being hired for. How your interviewee presents his/herself physically is an extension of their body language; not making an effort to look your best is a dangerous signs of times to come if that person is actually hired.


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22 Cultural Fit Questions for Video Assessments

Employers today recognize that it’s not just enough for candidates to be competent, have an impressive academic background or an extensive skill set. When assessing candidates, it’s just as important to gauge whether they can fit seamlessly into the culture of your organization. Recruiters have now begun looking for candidates who don’t only possess the desired skills or work ethic, but are also cultural fits.

What is a cultural fit anyway? And what makes this aspect a central component of hiring decisions? A candidate qualifies as a cultural fit if a recruiter feels that they can embody the organization’s core values, one who fits in like a glove within the environment and can take the company’s vision forward.

You might ask, why is this important if the employee has a drool-worthy profile, understands the requirements of their role and can produce quality work? The simple truth is, it matters. It matters because the culture or environment of a company reflects directly on the standard of an employee’s performance. A culture that they can easily embrace and be in agreement with will cause them to flourish while a culture that they are disenchanted by or struggle to identify with, will negatively affect their performance and commitment levels.

When evaluating candidates during recruitment, it’s always wise to throw in some questions that test the candidates on this aspect and video interviews can be leveraged to serve this purpose aptly.

With video interviews, you have the option of taking a live interview or sending the candidate a series of questions to which they can record video responses. You can pace the interview according to your requirements, set a time limit for answers or simply leave it to the candidate’s discretion to record their responses. Some questions will be direct and straightforward while others might require some degree of reflection; try to include both in your assessments.

The questions you ask to assess cultural aptitude will obviously depend on the specific values you want to test them on. While each company’s set of values differs, there are certain universal values that hold significance for each company such as honesty, collaboration, openness to change, leadership, innovation and resilience.

Here are some questions you can ask to test the candidate on the values that they hold dear and their compatibility with the values that are most important to you.

Their Core Values

1.What is the ideal working environment for you?
2. Which value of ours do you identify with the most?
3. Tell us about a time when you didn’t like the working environment in a place. What didn’t you like about it?
4. What is your main motivation to work at a company?
5. Tell us about an ethical dilemma you have faced. How did you resolve it?

Teamwork and Collaboration

6. Do you prefer working alone or as part of a team?
7. Tell us a about a poor team work experience you’ve had and an effective one. Why were the outcomes different?
8. Do you like to mingle with people or do you prefer to keep to yourself?
9. In your opinion, what should employee relations be like?
10. How do you approach disagreements with seniors? Tell us about an instance where you experienced conflict with a senior and how you went about it. 

Leadership Skills

11. Tell us about an instance where you were in a leadership role. What kind of a leader were you?
12. Which leadership style is the best in your opinion?
13. How do you manage conflict in a team?
14. How do you accommodate for diversity in a team?


15. How do you incorporate technology into your work? What softwares or applications do you use to assist you with your work?

Openness to Change

16. Do you play safe or are you a risk taker?
17. Do you stick to convention or do you believe in being innovative?
18. How would you overcome resistance to a new idea at the workplace?

Passion and Commitment

19. Do you believe in doing just what’s required or would you rather go the extra mile?
20. How good are you at multi-tasking?
21. How do you prioritize your tasks?


22. Tell us about a time you experienced failure. How did you take it?

These questions can give the recruiter quite a good idea of whether the candidate is in sync with their company’s cultural make-up. They test the candidate on various cultural facets, allowing the recruiter to piece together the kind of environment the candidate is most likely to have a preference for.

If you feel the responses are in line with what you’re looking for, great! What more could you want? If however, you feel that the candidate’s sensibilities don’t agree with your company’s core beliefs and values, you might want to reconsider.

Of course, that in no way means that the candidate is unworthy or incapable; it simply means that they’d thrive better at a culture different from what your company can offer. In the long run, consideration of cultural aptitude will serve you and your candidate well. So be sure to get it out of the way!