As businesses across the globe are forced to transition to a remote and digital workforce, so are interviews. Zoom, Skype, Teams and other video conferencing tools are becoming today’s interviewing norm.
The truth is, whether you’re an interview guru or just jumping back into the job market, technical issues and unexpected trip-ups are now more possible than ever before. So be prepared. Put yourself in the best situation to ensure you crush your video interview.
Below are a handful of tips and tricks gathered from recruiters, hiring managers, candidates and industry professionals to put you in the best position possible:
PREPARE YOUR TECHNOLOGY
In an ideal, even typical situation, you would be sitting across the table from your recruiter or hiring manager. However, with today’s circumstances, video conferencing is the next best thing. With this, comes different video platforms; you should check to see if you need to create an account, download an app, or insert a password. Additionally, be sure to test your connection prior to the interview. You don’t want your first impression to be that you were late because you couldn’t figure out the platform.
Test your camera and mic – nothing else can start an interview on the wrong foot, than a webcam or mic malfunction. You don’t want to be the “Can you hear me? Can you hear me now?” interviewee.
This one seems simple, but is commonly one that is forgotten…charge your device! Whether you are taking the interview on your phone or computer, be sure you are sufficiently charged or if possible, plug into a power source.
DRESS THE PART
You should still dress to impress! This helps to not only boost confidence, but will also leave a strong first impression. Plan to wear the same clothes you’d wear if you were meeting in-person…yes this includes pants. We have all heard the jokes about taking video calls in your underwear, but don’t let that be you. Most likely, the interviewer(s) will only see your face and shoulders, but you should be prepared.
BODY LANGUAGE AND SPEECH
Video interviews can be uncomfortable and seem unnatural, but do your best to be yourself and get your personality across. Be mindful of your posture, remember to nod and be engaged, try not to fidget, and don’t forget to smile! Gesture with your hands as you normally would and don’t feel restricted or stiff just because you are talking to a computer screen.
Do your best to speak clearly and deliberately. Issues with internet and connection can occur and this can cause delays or sound quality issues. So be adaptable and do your best to ensure your audience is understanding you. Try pausing momentarily before responding, as there can be a delay and cause you to talk over one another.
Eye contact. This one can be a bit more challenging depending on your computer/webcam set up, how many interviewers are on the call or how the platform displays the video. Your impulse is typically to look at the face on the screen or be distracted by yourself.
A few helpful tips:
- Look at the camera as much as you can (this will give the appearance of making eye contact)
- Place a sticky note over yourself on your screen as to not be distracted
- Position your camera at eye-level for the most flattering and straight forward angle
- Practice! (remember it doesn’t come natural to look at the camera rather than the people on the screen)
BE CONSCIOUS OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Beware of any potential distractions such as family, friends or pets. Try to ensure you have privacy and won’t be interrupted or distracted.
Turn your camera on before your interview and evaluate your background and lighting. Have a professional, clean and clutter-free background within the frame. And don’t forget to check your lighting, no one wants to join an interview and realize you are so backlit, it looks like you’re taking the call from a dungeon.
If the lighting isn’t favorable:
- Try facing a window to get natural light
- Set up a light or two behind the screen to brighten yourself and background
- Increase the brightness on your screen to add some illumination to your face
It’s important to remember that technical issues or distractions can and do happen, even if you prepare. Things can take place on your end or the interviewers, they are in the same situation as you and working to do what they can to give you the best interview experience. Be patient and be understanding.
DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW UP
This will always be a best practice for any type of interview. Remember to leave a strong impression and send a thank you note to the interviewer(s).