Non-Verbal Ways to Impress the Hiring Manager

by Jobbatical February 16, 2019
woman, waiting, job interview

Landing an international job is about more than your credentials. Hiring managers take into account how a candidate’s personality will mesh with the rest of the team, whether they’ll fit in with the company’s culture, and if they have the right attitude to get the job done.

Most of the time an in-person interview for an international job isn’t realistic, and you’ll likely be scheduled for a remote video interview with the hiring manager. Communicating through a webcam can make it especially difficult to connect on a personal level with your interviewer. However, there are still ways to impress the hiring manager through your appearance, body language, and behavior.

Here are some tips on non-verbal ways to impress in your interview.

Project confidence

Often, the first step to feeling confident is being proud of your appearance. Your professional image is a leading factor in the hiring manager’s first impression of you, so it’s essential to dress to impress and to make sure that you’re well-groomed.

lion, cat, mirror

Photo by: Ewa Studio.

It’s important to treat a video interview just like in an in-person one, even though it may feel more informal to be interviewed from the comfort of your home. Dress in appropriate professional attire unless specified otherwise – and not just from the torso up. Besides your outfit, make sure that your hairstyle is clean-cut and that any unwanted facial hair is trimmed.

Don’t rely on the quality of your webcam to mask any imperfections. If you’re self-conscious about any part of your look, take steps to correct it so that it doesn’t affect your confidence or frame-of-mind. For example, if you’re dealing with a pimple or cold sore, you can easily hide it via concealer or a fast-acting cold sore treatment the night before. To dazzle the hiring manager with your pearly whites, you can also consider a teeth whitening solution to enhance your smile.

After you’ve nailed down your look and feel confident in your appearance, projecting confidence during your interview is all about posture, positive facial expressions, and maintaining an appropriate level of eye contact. Make sure to always sit with your back straight, shoulders slightly back, and your chin parallel to the ground.

Some people’s natural facial expressions can be very stern or unwelcoming, which can be off-putting and give the impression of being mean-spirited rather than open and confident. To correct this, try to smile, relax your facial muscles, and be conscious of your expression. Maintaining appropriate eye contact lets the interviewer know you’re engaged and are interested in what they have to say.

Since you’re engaging with a webcam primarily, you can give the impression of eye contact by remembering to look into the webcam and not at their face on the screen. Looking into the screen will generally make it look like you’re looking slightly downwards, which can make it seem as if you’re nervous or unsure of yourself.

Be an engaged listener

Showing signs that you’re engaged with what the hiring manager is saying not only demonstrates respect for them but also you’re interest and passion in the position you’re interviewing for. During a video interview, it’s especially important to actively show that you’re engaged in the conversation as more implicit signals won’t come across as well as they do in person.

listening, job interview, woman, man

Photo by: baranq.

You can demonstrate you’re engaged in the conversation by smiling and nodding where appropriate, leaning in slightly and laughing along with the interviewer. Slightly mirroring their body language is also a subtle method that helps to build trust and familiarity. 

The best sign of an engaged listener, though, is the ability to ask thoughtful questions on the subject of the conversation. This shows you’re not just pretending to listen, but that you’re genuinely interested and have the industry knowledge to engage with them on the specifics of the position.

Be well prepared

While you don’t need to worry about packing a briefcase of interview essentials to take to a video interview, you still need to take proper steps to prepare ahead of time.

woman, laptop, connectivity, coffee

Photo by: Stasique.

Make sure to double check your internet connection, audio, and video quality. It’s important to choose a spot where the background is free from distractions, as you want to ensure that the interviewer is focused on you. After picking the ideal spot, take the time to frame yourself in the webcam, check your lighting, and make sure that the webcam is angled to face you at eye-level.

You’d be surprised by how many people aren’t proficient in best practices for a video interview. Taking the time to make sure every aspect is well-produced can work to make you seem more professional and competent to hiring managers, which is a good sign for the characteristics you’d bring to the job.


Now that you’ve amped up your confidence and interview skills, take a look at the job openings on Jobbatical.

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