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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