Congratulations on landing a video interview! Video interviews are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s business world. If you’re camera-shy, it’s time to take steps to fix that and learn to love the camera. Your next job could depend on it. For FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Skype interview tips, read on to learn how to put your best face forward.
While some people simply dislike being on camera, others worry about their technology holding up for a seamless interview process. With some preparation, though, the entire video interview process can become a breeze.
Check your technology. Spend time a few days before your interview reviewing your equipment:
- Check your Internet speed. For a clear HD video connection, you need at least 1 Mbps. You can test your Internet speed at http://www.speedtest.net. Switching from Wi-Fi to a wired Ethernet connection may improve your Internet speed. If your home’s Internet connection is outdated, consider going to a local library, where you can do the interview in a private room with stable Wi-Fi.
- Make sure your device (computer, phone, or tablet) is fully charged. Or, plug it into an outlet, to avoid a battery outage.
- Check the audio. You may need to wear headphones if your computer has a poor speaker system or buy an external microphone.
- Check the camera. If you need to purchase a webcam, check out Logitech HD Webcams on Amazon or look for cameras with good on-line reviews.
- Familiarize yourself with the video platform. New to Zoom? Get comfortable with the program before your audition. Practice with a family member or friend!
Have a plan if things go haywire. It is important to remember that technology just fails sometimes, regardless of how many times you checked your Internet connection. So, before you begin a video interview, provide the interviewer with a backup phone number where you can be reached if there are any technical difficulties.
Pro Tip: While it is best to have a cell phone nearby in case of technology failures during your video call, it is important to not touch your phone for any other reason during your interview. Your phone should be put away with the volume muted (the interviewers should not hear any dings from text messages).
Furthermore, refrain from looking at your phone for any reason during a video interview, including searching for answers on Google. While Googling for solutions is acceptable during the workday, it is not an acceptable practice during an interview
Make sure to choose the right setting. Among the most pivotal video interview tips is the importance of a proper environment. Find a quiet, private, and well-lit place to do the interview—making sure to avoid coffee shops and othershared spaces where you can’t control the background noise. And choose a room with a clutter-free backdrop.
Lighting is also essential. If a window is behind you, it could cast a shadow over your face and make it difficult for the interviewer to see you. Generally, your best strategy is to sit opposite an open window. If you’re doing the interview at night, you can brighten up dim space by adding a floor or desk lamp.
Pro tip: Do a trial run at the same time of day that you’re going to be interviewing so you know how the lighting is going to look like during your interview.
Dress the part. Although you’re not going into an office to meet with the interviewer face to face, you still need to dress appropriately for a video interview. You’ll want to wear the same professional clothes that you’d wear to an in-person interview at the company (tops and bottoms). The exception? Don’t wear plaid or stripes which can be distracting on camera. When on camera, it is better to wear a solid colored shirt or jacket.
Moreover, read up on your prospective employer’s fashion culture, as some workplaces are obviously more casual than others (if unsure, just ask your Recruiter!). A blazer and tie, for example, may not be required if you discover the company’s dress code is jeans and a t-shirt. Dress one notch above what’s expected.
Mind your body language. Maintaining good eye contact is essential during any job interview, but it’s especially crucial during video interviews. Your camera should be at eye level. It won’t make a good first impression if you are looking down or looking up when speaking.
Don’t forget to nod and smile when it’s appropriate. You want to avoid looking too stiff and unnatural.
Don’t rely on notes. It’s smart to have a copy of your resume nearby, just as you would during an in-person interview, but don’t be tempted to have a cheat sheet in your lap, such as a list of answers to common interview questions. This will make you look down. There are exceptions, though. For example, saying to an interviewer, “I’m looking away for a second so that I can find the data from that project I worked on” is totally fine. Make a great first impression. Now that you’re all set up for video interviews, it’s time to focus on what you’re going to say to win over a potential employer. Need some help preparing smart answers? Spend time before the interview looking up interview insights and reviewing your potential employer. You’ll learn how to answer questions from why you want the job to what your weaknesses are—in such a way that your skills and value shine through, even if you’re miles away. Use your Recruiter as a resource. Most important of all, remember that your Recruiter wants you to land the job as much as you do. Always feel free to reach out to your Recruiter with interview questions!