Whether this is your first, second, or fifth time performing a video interview, it most likely won’t be your last. More and more companies are using video interviews at some stage in the hiring process, meaning you can certainly count on a video interview in your near future.
So what does this mean for you?
The ability to shine in a video interview requires some skills and savvy beyond basic job interview best practices.
Taking a video interview, especially for first-timers, can feel a little awkward and intimidating. So while your video interview may feel different, you can rest assured knowing you are answering the same questions as every other candidate.
More important than the medium of the interview is how well you prepare. These steps will help you properly prepare for a video interview, giving you the best chance possible to get the job.
1. Check your technology
It can be highly embarrassing if your technology does not work properly when it needs to. Get to know your webcam and microphone so you know how they work. Test the setup with a friend a day or two before the scheduled meeting. Make sure that both your audio and video come through properly and that there are no technical issues on your end that would hinder your interview. Also make sure that the camera is facing eye-level, so you are looking directly into the lens, i.e., making direct eye contact with your interviewer.
2. Prep your backdrop
You may think the only thing the people on the other end of a video interview can see is your face, but they will see some of your surroundings too. The room that you are in should look tidy and pleasant and not be visually distracting. Remove the mess that will be visible behind your chair. You also need to avoid any loud distractions such as a barking dog or a crying child; hang up a sign (“I am on an important call!”), make alternative arrangements to avoid interruptions, and lock the door behind you, if need be. Always be sure to turn off the ringers of all the phones in the area.
3. Be aware of your lighting
The interviewer will want to be able to see you clearly in the video portion of the call. Put a light behind your computer and shining on you, so that your face is bright and without shadows. Keep in mind that bright lights can also make your skin look shiny, so make sure to lightly powder your face, even if you are a man.
4. Dress to inspire
It may be tempting to wear your pajama bottoms, but it’s certainly not a good idea. Even though you’re not interviewing in-person, appearance still matters. Dressing appropriately will help inspire your own confidence, and will avoid the potential embarrassment of looking like you just don’t care. Make sure to dress as if you would be interviewing in-person, taking careful consideration of your wardrobe, hair, make-up and jewelry.
5. Station yourself where you can talk openly and clearly
Don’t try to do a video interview from your current job if they don’t know that you’re looking for new opportunities. This can make for an awkward video interview if you are whispering and acting suspiciously. Also, don’t try to do a video interview from a loud restaurant or coffee shop. Even though you might be able to find a semi-quiet corner, you are more apt to get distracted or interrupted.
And lastly, follow mom’s advice during the actual video interview … sit up straight with good posture, talk clearly, and smile every once in a while.
By following these 5 key steps, you will be able shine in your video interview, hopefully landing you the position you are striving for.
(written by: Whitney)