Job interviews are increasingly being done by video. Sometimes, it’s because applicants and interviewers are in different cities. Other times, it’s because employers find video interviews an efficient way to “meet” multiple candidates.
When you have an upcoming video interview, the key is to spend time in advance preparing, so you’ll be ready to put your best face forward. Here are a few useful ways to do it:
1.Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from possible interruptions.
Put your phone on SILENT (and don’t check your phone during the interview!), banish the dog to a different room and keep the windows closed. If kids or even other adults will be in the house during the interview, tell them in advance that the area where you will be is off-limits.
2.Ensure your internet connection is stable.
Test your connection for Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, or whatever interview platform you are specifically using. Be prepared to use the technology your interviewer prefers. Close any unnecessary browsers and applications.
3.Check that your computer’s audio and webcam is working.
Position the camera so that you are looking up slightly and centred on the screen. Make sure that your mic resonates clearly to the other person and that your speakers make the other person understandable to you. If you need to use headphones, test them before the interview.
4. Dress professionally and avoid bright colours.
Dress professionally—the same way you would for an in-person interview. Research the company culture before your interview so you have a good idea of what’s appropriate. To look your best on camera, avoid bright colours and patterns and opt for softer colours instead. If you are wearing a tie, wear a solid colour rather than a patterned one.
5. Smile, make eye contact, and speak clearly.
Video deadens your energy so a video interview still won’t replicate a live meeting. You have to proactively make sure that you smile, make eye contact, and speak clearly and enthusiastically. Don’t fidget or make a lot of movement, as this is distracting to the other person and appears unprofessional.
6. Have a pen, notepad and copy of your resume on your desk.
If required you can always make notes and when questioned about your employment history or anything related to your resume, it’s always advisable to have a copy on-hand.7
7.Practice your key project examples.
Remember that, beyond the technology, a video interview is still an interview. Content and preparation matter, as they do with phone or live interviews. Practice your key project examples, know what your value proposition is, prepare how you’re going to tell your story so it’s relevant to this company and this job.
8.Keep a glass of water next to you when doing a video interview from home.
That’s the ideal “prop” if you need to take a few seconds to collect your thoughts. Excuse yourself, reach over, take a quick sip and set the glass down carefully.
As with any job interview, you should conclude by thanking the interviewer for their time. Send a follow-up thank you email. This message may help build a stronger connection with your potential employer and help you progress to the next stage.