Tips for Video Interviewing

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August 19, 2020
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min read

During the hiring process, more companies are doing things virtually nowadays. In the age of Covid-19, almost all business activity is taking place on video platforms, and interviews are no exception.

This article will provide video interviewing tips to make sure you are prepared. While all interviews are stressful, here are some great video interview tips to ensure you nail it!

How to prepare for a video interview

Just like you would for an in-person interview, candidates should still prepare for a video interview. Below are some preparation tips for video interviews.

Setting up your video job interview space

  • Make sure your internet connection is strong.
  • Find a quiet room with good lighting.
  • Make sure there is nothing in the background that you wouldn't want the interviewer to see.
  • Test your webcam and camera.
  • Check your microphone.
  • Test the software or video platform you will be using (Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts).
  • Make sure your computer is fully charged or plugged in. Your interview could take longer than you might expect.
  • Position your camera to fully see your face down to your shoulders.

You want to pick a professional space. Avoid messes and clutter in your house. Sitting on your bed isn't the best option. Pick a room where you can shut the door. If you have a home office or a desk, that would be good. If you have pets, keep them out of the room during your interview. People doing a video interview will want to avoid any distractions.

If you have to do your video interview in public, consider a quiet place like a library study room. Remember, your interview is your first impression to the company.

Ask a friend or family member to do a trial run with you. This way you can make sure your camera, microphone, wi-fi, and speakers are all working properly. Ask your friend if everything sounds and looks good. You want to make sure you can see and hear them too. Angle your laptop screen or computer screen to provide the best view. Depending on what time your video interview is at, check the light and glare from any nearby windows.

Preparing for your video interview

Just as you would for an in-person interview, you need to practice answers to common interview questions. Who your video interview is with will determine the type of questions you will be asked and the length of your call. Here are some common interview questions that you should be prepared to answer during video interviews.

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why do you think you are the best candidate for the job?
  • What do you like doing in your free time?
  • Why do you want to leave your current job?

Write down a few questions to ask the interviewer during your video interview as well. You can also have a few notes to remind yourself of things you want to say. When discussing previous jobs, have examples of experiences that make you stand apart from others. Make sure you don't just read from your notes. Lastly, always make eye contact with the person conducting the interview, or at least stay focused on the screen and camera.

Tips for your video job interview

Take some time before your video job interview to confirm you are all set. Double-check your camera, internet connection, lighting, and any other equipment you will be using. Keep your phone within reach for any issues that may arise. If the call starts and there are any problems, contact the interviewer immediately.

During your video interviews, pay attention to your body language and eye contact. You want to look like you are engaged with the interviewer and not preoccupied. This is the biggest difference between phone interviews and video interviews.

Watch your posture. Your body language should mimic how you would act during an in-person interview. You want the hiring manager to see that you are engaged and interested. Sometimes a video interview can make you feel distant from the interviewer. Making eye contact is a great way to make a connection when you aren't in person.

Make sure you speak clearly and slowly during a video interview. The interviewer should be able to easily hear you. Make any adjustments to your microphone ahead of time. Sometimes wearing a headset or headphones is easier. Give the interviewer time to process your answers and allow them to ask a follow-up.

Keep a notebook and a pen nearby with your interview notes. That way you can take a note or two during your interview. Have a copy of your resume in case a specific question is asked. Before your interview is over get the interviewer's email address to send a thank-you note after your interview.

What to wear for your video interview

Even though you are interviewing at home, you will want to have a professional appearance. Test what's visible with your camera angle. You will want your full head in the frame but probably not lower than your waist. This means your top and shirt should look like you are going to meet in person. Since they won't see your bottom half, you can wear comfortable pants or even sweatpants. Avoid too many patterns or colors. A lot of jewelry can be distracting as well. Good news, you don't need shoes or a full suit since they won't be on camera.

Anyone in the hiring process should be in the mindset that they can have a successful video interview. In these modern times and with COVID-19, it's more likely to happen. You will want to take time to prepare and set up your interview space. One of the best tips is to do a test run.

Candidates will feel more confident if they know their camera and audio are all set. Don't stress if something goes wrong, employers are adjusting to a new situation as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I ensure my internet connection is stable for a video interview?

To ensure a stable internet connection, test your network speed before the interview. Use a wired connection if possible, as it's generally more reliable than Wi-Fi. Close any unnecessary applications and browser tabs to conserve bandwidth, and consider asking others in your household to limit their internet use during your interview time.

What is the best way to manage eye contact during a video interview?

In a video interview, create the illusion of eye contact by looking directly at the camera, not the screen. Position the camera at eye level and keep your gaze focused there when speaking. You can glance at the interviewer's image occasionally, but regularly return your eyes to the camera to maintain engagement.

How should I handle technical difficulties during a video interview?

If technical difficulties arise, remain calm and professional. Inform the interviewer of the issue as soon as possible. Have a backup plan, such as a phone number to continue the conversation if necessary. After the interview, follow up with an email to thank the interviewer for their understanding, reinforcing your interest in the position.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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