Feb. 9, 2021
10 tips to ace your next video interview
With the globalization of work and the growing popularity of working remotely, you’ve probably seen an increase in the number of interviews being held through a video networking platform. Whether it’s Zoom, WebEx, Google Hangouts, Skype or something else, a video interview should be taken just as seriously as an in-person interview.
Despite some of the challenges of remote video interviews, there are some ways you can use this recruiting method to make a great first impression. Here’s a list of simple tips and reminders for your upcoming video interview.
Before your interview
Treat this like a regular in-person interview
Even though you have the advantage of interviewing from home, a video interview should be taken just as seriously as an interview in the office. Make sure you thoroughly research the role, the organization, and be prepared to answer common interview questions while asking thoughtful questions of your own.
Make sure you have everything you need in front of you
Your interviewer can't see what's on your screen, so you can use that to your advantage. Have a copy of your resume and cover letter available so you can refer to it if needed, and keep a glass of water handy to refresh yourself (or buy time) between answers.
You can also create a “cheat sheet” with notes and questions for the interviewer, or even inspiration, to view on your screen or next to your device. This can help you appear more confident and prepared during your interview.
Dress to impress, just as you would for an in-person interview. Putting on that power suit can put you in the right mindset, help you feel more prepared and show your interviewer you’re serious about the job.
Find a quiet space
Limiting interruptions will help both you and your interviewer focus. If you live with others, let them know when and where you’re interviewing, and remind them to give you space and keep quiet until you’re finished. While pets are adorable, be sure to keep them away from your interview space.
Set up your interview environment
Position your camera so you’re within view and your face is well-lit. Before your interview, make sure your surroundings are clean and clutter-free. It's also a good idea to tidy up your desktop and browser in the event you need to share your screen.
Ensure all your equipment is working beforehand
Technical issues aren’t only embarrassing, but they can derail your focus and make you more nervous. Check your internet connection, plug into a power supply, and make sure your microphone and camera are both working. If you know what platform your interview will be on, test it out with your device beforehand.
“Show up” early
Just as you would for an in-person interview, “show up” early for your interview. Give yourself about 15 minutes to review your notes, the job description, close unnecessary windows and do some breathing exercises to get rid of any nervousness and get into your interview mindset. Then, join your interview at the specified time (or even a minute early, just in case.)
During your interview
Keep your eyes forward
Prepare ahead by ensuring your camera is set-up at eye level or slightly below you. When responding to questions, remember to look at the camera. This is the closest you can get to making eye contact with the interviewer. If you forget, you can easily place a sticky note near your camera to remind yourself.
If you’re using notes to prepare, strategically place them on your computer or desk so you don’t lose too much eye contact.
Take the conversation slowly
Without body language cues, it can be hard to tell when it’s really your turn to speak. Be patient with your interviewer and let them finish speaking before chiming in with your thoughts and answers. You can also make it clear when you’re done speaking by ending with a strong conclusion, smiling or answering with a question of your own.
Give your interviewer your undivided attention
Distractions can be hard to avoid during a remote interview. Make sure you set your devices and notifications to silent and close any applications or windows that can interrupt you.
Throughout the interview, make sure you're actively listening by nodding and smiling. By focusing on the interviewer, you demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in the organization and are eager to be part of the team.
Keep in mind that, whether it’s in-person or online, the ultimate goal of an interview is the same: to show the interviewer that you’re the right person for the job. Use these tips to make sure that the technology is the least of your worries and that you make a strong connection with your interview. For more tips, you can check out our Career Clip on Video and Phone Interviews.
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