Video Job Interview Tips You Can Use

Elizabeth Witbeck

Video Job Interview Tips You Can Use

Companies like to have interview rounds to be sure that you are the best fit for the position. Occasionally one of these rounds of interviews will include an interview through a video platform such as Skype or Google Hangout.

Sometimes employers choose to conduct an interview through video when an in-person interview is not a possibility, such as when you live far away from the company. It also may be done as a preliminary step before you come in for an in-person interview.

Interviewing with an employer through a video platform is quite similar to interviewing in person. There are a few key things to keep in mind when you are interviewing through video.

Install The Video Software And Learn The Basics Days Before Your Interview

Let’s say that the company you are interviewing for invites you to an interview through Skype. You do not want to be on your computer, downloading Skype five minutes before your scheduled interview. Sign up for Skype at least 2 days before the interview.

Take Away: Be sure to install any programs and understand how to use them.

Prepare and Practice in Advance

Have a friend do a practice run with you. You can test the lighting and sound on your computer. That way, you will be unlikely to get a blurry image or be unable to hear what the interviewer is saying over the video platform.

Practicing will help you feel more confident.

Even if you do all this, there can always be problems with technology. You may get to the video interview, only to have your interviewers computer crash or a problem with the software. It is okay.

Take a deep breath and stay calm as you work together with the interviewer to resolve the issue.

Give Yourself Some Privacy

There are many activities where it is fun to have company, but interviews are not one of them. Be sure to hold the interview somewhere where you are alone and the room is silent, free from any distractions.

Bringing your computer to a coffee shop to do the interview would not be a good idea.

Perhaps the best choice is to sit in the comfort of your own home and have the video interview, but be sure to remove any distractions from here as well.

  • Children should not be running into the room while you are talking with your potential new boss.
  • Dogs should not be barking in the background.
  • Your cell phone should not be buzzing.

Be aware of anything that could be a distraction during your interview, and remove it.

Location is Important

I really want to stress this point. It is important to choose a good location for your interview. When the interviewer looks at you, they will only be seeing you, and what is behind you.

It is best if you are sitting in front of a monochromatic (one color) wall during your video interview. With a plain wall, the focus can be entirely on you, which is a good thing.

Keep the background free from distractions. You don’t want the scene behind you to include your unfolded laundry, or your dishes in the sink that need to be washed.

TIP: Be sure to check the lighting in the room where you will be holding your interview. Be sure you have the perfect amount of lighting so that it is not too dark or too bright for the video session.

Look at the Camera

Perhaps one of the most challenging parts of a video interview is trying to figure out where to look.

In an in-person video, we know to look the hiring manager right in the eye. It is natural for us then, to look at our computer screen and towards the person interviewing us. This will make it appear as if we are looking downward and away from the hiring manager.

You want to face and look into the camera on your computer. This will make it seem like we are giving eye contact towards the interviewer. Be sure to smile as you look directly into the camera, as well.

Dress Professionally

You should always show up to an interview dressed professionally. Even though this is not an in-person interview, you still need to be professional.

This means wearing a suit, a blazer, a nice blouse, a button-down shirt, slacks, and similar business attire.

Dressing professionally shows an interviewer that you care about the position and you take their time seriously. Many job candidates will show up to an interview wearing a shirt and blue jeans – and probably aren’t called back for a second interview.

Even at a video interview, dressing like a professional will set you apart from the rest of the crowd.

Body Language is Key

Most of our language is communicated non-verbally. We communicate ideas through our tone of voice, our facial expressions, and more.

When you are interviewing through a video platform, a person is not there right in front of you. Your non-verbal body language means much more than it normally would.

Be sure to smile at the camera during your interview. Be sure to nod your head in agreement while the interviewer is talking, or give some other indication that you are listening — you don’t want to be sitting there quietly, with the interviewer thinking the screen is frozen.

Use hand gestures, laugh, and express yourself in other ways to get your message across. Speak clearly in your video interview, slow down the pace at which you speak, and really pronounce clearly all of your words.

This will help your interviewer to understand you better during the video interview.

It is Okay to Use Notes

In an in-person interview, you can’t use notes, bring a list of questions and your prepared answers, or your resume to the session with you.

During a video session, it is okay to use these items.

If you feel nervous, having some notes can make you feel more confident during the interview.

If you are in the middle of the interview and forget something about your career history, having your resume beside you can help jog your memory.

What you don’t want to do is make it obvious that you are sitting there reading from a bunch of notes. You want to make it seem as if you have prepared for this interview.

Good Luck on Your Interview

A video interview is a great opportunity for the hiring manager to find out more about you, and for you to also find out more about the company.

Use this as a chance to figure out if you would like to truly work with this company and if you would enjoy this position.

About The Author

Elizabeth Witbeck

Elizabeth Witbeck works as a college consultant and educational entrepreneur. She launched the first business in the United States that sends care packages to first generation college students, and also helps prospective college students on their applications. Her interests include education, poverty, and working with youth.

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