Video interviews are becoming common. Make sure you’re ready to get in front of the camera by following these video interview tips.
Right now, many companies are shifting to a virtual hiring process. If you’re looking for a new gig, most of your interviews will move to video, with the help of tech services like Google Hangouts, Skype, HireVue, and Zoom.
Whether you’re an old hand with years of traditional interviewing experience, or this is your first time on the job market, video interviews don’t have to be a stressor. With some practice and the right mindset, you can put yourself in a position to shine as easily as you would in a face-to-face interview.
1. Test your technology
Make sure your internet connection and video conferencing program are both working well before your interview.
Download any apps or plugins you’ll need. Make sure you have a username that’s professional, just like you would with your email address or social media handle. Check that your computer’s camera, microphone and internet connection are working. Do a trial run with a friend or family member, if possible, so you have enough time to adjust if any of your equipment or software is malfunctioning.
2. Charge it up
If you’re using a laptop or tablet, make sure it’s fully charged on the day of the interview. And pick a spot that has strong Wi-Fi. If you’re using a tablet, find a way to keep it stationary. Otherwise, the screen may appear shaky if you’re holding the device. Avoid using a smartphone for video interviews if possible.
3. Dress for success
Dress like you would for an in-person interview from head to toe. Doing this will make you feel more confident. Avoid wearing bright, flashy colors and choose something that looks neatly pressed while you’re sitting down. Wear your video interview outfit during your trial run so you can get feedback from your friend or family member about how it looks on screen.
4. Set the stage for a distraction-free video interview
Even the smallest distraction can throw a whole interview off, so you’ll need to eliminate these beforehand.
Make sure there are no pets, babies, or roommates around. Turn the television—and your phone—off. And if you do get interrupted by a car alarm or something else that’s out of your control, say “excuse me,” wait for a few seconds for the noise to calm down, and get right back into it. Trust me, this will go over way smoother than trying to yell over the noise.
Make sure the background is free from clutter and embarrassing items like laundry piles. Set up lighting that’s bright but not glaring, illuminating your face from the front. Natural light is best.
5. Be prepared
Do your homework like you would for any other interview, rehearsing your responses to key interview questions and preparing your own questions for the interviewer.
Expect some common interview questions, including:
• Tell me about yourself.
• Why do you want to work here?
• Why are you leaving your current job?
6. Bring some props
Have your interview questions written down in a notebook kept beside you.
Print out a copy of your resume to have by you as a “cheat sheet” to refer to in case you get nervous and to explain your work in detail. You don’t want to read from your resume, but having it there will help your nerves to glance at if you need to.
Print out the job description. Make notes of talking points about the company, job or how your experience relates to the job. (Hint: I like to also use sticky notes off to the side of my laptop to quickly glance at for talking points)
Also, bring a bottle or glass of water, because you won’t be able to get up once the interview starts.
7. Be an early bird
Log in five or 10 minutes early so you can be calm and centered when the video interview begins.
8. Be personable
Keep good eye-contact, smile often and engage with the interviewer to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role.
It’s easier for your eyes to wander when the person you’re talking to isn’t in the room. Maintain “eye contact” by looking directly into the camera instead of at the screen or at your own photo.
Here’s another tip: Using proper body language during an interview shows confidence. So sit upright, Make sure your face is centered and try not to move around and try not to fidget or cross your legs. Your frame will fit nicely in the camera this way.
9. Be Enthusiastic
The most challenging part of a video call is the interviewer won’t be able to feel your energy in person or personality, so you really have to give it all you’ve got through the camera.
How do you do that?
For starters, smile. Make sure to ask questions that show your interest and the company — questions about their work culture, job expectations, and goals for the team are a great place to start.
10. Close the video interview by sharing your appreciation
Just as you would with any interview, thank the interviewer for the opportunity. This is also a perfect time to add any details about yourself and experience that you may have missed.