As more and more employers adopt remote work practices, job seekers are experiencing a serious uptick in video interviews. If you are preparing for an upcoming video interview, these tips will help you familiarize yourself with variables you may not have considered so that you can focus on showing off your best qualities and walk away feeling confident about your presentation.
Technical issues are most commonly the cause of problems that people experience when conducting video interviews. Although technical problems are often unavoidable, there are a few things you can do to prepare and potentially avoid losing connection or not being able to hear/see your interviewer.
- Download any technology required for your interview (such as GoToMeeting) well in advance of your actual interview date.
- Play around with the program before your interview so that you know how to work everything or fix potential future problems.
- Check the sound inputs and outputs on your computer/the program.
- Before your interview, make sure that you close all other open windows on your computer, especially if it might make noise! Open apps may interrupt the interview or make the connection lag.
- If you are using a personal account to log into the video service, make sure the user name is professional.
If, even after all this careful preparation, you still experience connectivity or technical issues during your interview, be sure to acknowledge them out loud. Your interviewer wants to know if you cannot hear the questions they are asking and will appreciate the honesty.
We all know that you must dress for the part when doing an in-person interview. The same applies to a video interview.
- Know the company culture before your interview and dress appropriately. For example, if you’re interviewing for a corporate position at a Fortune 500 company, you want to wear a suit, whereas if you’re interviewing to be a park ranger, the vibe will be completely different.
- Another thing to keep in mind is that the lighting in videos can be unflattering. To look your best, avoid busy patterns and dark colors – wear solid, bright colors to make yourself stand out in a good way.
- Resist the urge to be less formal because you are at home. Dress from head to toe as though you were going to their physical location.
- If you wear glasses, be sure to adjust the camera so that it reduces glare as much as possible.
- Test your outfit appearance on camera prior to the interview. This will help you identify if the colors and lighting are pleasing or not. It will also help you see if a particular style looks strange in the frame of the camera.
Video interviews usually take place at your house, and there are many different things that can show up on a camera screen you might not think about or even distract you. Paying attention to what the camera is showing your potential employer beyond your appearance is very important.
- Prepare your surroundings. Eliminate any clutter or items you don’t want seen in the background – make your background as clean and simple as possible. Your surroundings tell a lot about you, and you can be sure that your interviewer will notice.
- Avoid overhead lighting – this washes you out and makes shadows in unflattering places, making you look tired or worn out. On a similar note, don’t sit in front of a light or window. This will make you look like a silhouette, and your interviewer won’t be able to see your face. Place a light somewhere in front of you (on the other side of the screen), so that your face is illuminated, not washed out.
- Sit in a room alone and shut the door; you don’t want any pets and children wandering into the picture!
- Try to proportion your body in the frame by making sure there is a little empty space above your head and your chest and shoulders are visible.
Your behavior and body language are arguably some of the most important things to pay attention to when interviewing over video. It's easy to fall into a relaxed physical behavior when at home vs. when you are in an executive setting, so be mindful of what your body language is conveying.
- Before your interview, practice answering questions via video chat with a friend, so you can learn all the ins and outs before the big day.
- To avoid looking unprofessional, set your webcam at eye level and look at the camera, not the screen, so as to appear to be making eye contact with your interviewer. Eye contact is very important in person and should also be maintained here.
- Keep a positive attitude. Often our moods are shared through our mannerisms without us knowing. Remaining optimistic will shine through in your smile and voice.
- Don't slump. Maintain good posture to present a more engaged and focused appearance because it naturally gives you a little more energy and helps you communicate your excitement.
Some last words of advice; It’s easy to get distracted by a number of things during a video interview. Avoid this at all costs – your interviewer can tell! Stay present in the conversation, utilizing active listening. Don’t just be thinking about what you’re going to say next; really pay attention to what your interviewer is asking you. And, last but not least, SMILE, you've got this!
Now that you're ready for a successful interview with our tips, check out the job openings we have!