As everything has moved online and companies are now hiring virtually, video interviews have become much more prevalent. As a result, it's essential for candidates to prepare for the challenges that a video interview may present.
Here is a list of tips that our Director of Recruiting, Katie Buchta, put together for your benefit!
Dress as if you were interviewing in person. Look good, feel good, do good!
Test the interview platform ahead of time.
Whether it is a call via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime etc., log in ahead of time and make sure you know how to use the program before your interview. Also check to make sure the audio and video are working properly (this may require doing a test call with a friend).
- Use headphones with a built-in microphone to avoid extra background noise or echoing.
- Test your camera angle to make sure you are not too close or too far away from the camera.
Take your interview from a desk or table.
If possible, avoid interviewing from your bed, sofa, or car.
Check your surroundings.
What is in view of the camera behind you? The more neutral the background behind you the better. Also make sure there is no clutter in order to avoid distractions.
Make sure you have a good internet connection.
Use a laptop or desktop for your interview, if possible.
If you do not have access to a laptop or desktop, phones and tablets will work, but make sure you prop up the device so it is stationary. Do not hold your phone or tablet during the interview.
- Regardless of which device you are using – make sure it is fully charged or plugged in.
Be especially mindful of your eye contact and posture.
Make good eye contact throughout the interview by looking into the webcam. Stay focused on the screen when the interviewer is speaking. Make sure you are sitting up straight with good posture. Try not to fidget in your chair. This will convey confidence.
Be in a quiet place with good lighting.
Let family members/roommates know you are interviewing to avoid noise or interruptions. Make sure your cell phone/other devices are on silent.
Be on time.
Be ready to go 5-10 minutes before. Use those extra minutes to prepare and get set up.
Have your resume and a pen and paper available to take notes.
- Come prepared to the interview with questions you want to ask
- Make a “cheat sheet” of experiences you want to highlight
- Research the company and people you are interviewing with and have that information in front of you.
- Don’t read off your notes, but use them as a reference.
Start by acknowledging the situation.
Share your desire to be meeting in person and to be able to give a proper handshake, while thanking them for their flexibility in being willing to interview virtually. Acknowledging that things are different helps put people at ease and mimics typical introductory moments.
- If you can’t hear or see your interviewer well, don’t be afraid to speak up and let them know in a polite way.
- If something goes wrong like your dog barks or there is construction outside, your best bet is to acknowledge it and apologize. If you can, move to another, quieter space.
Speak clearly and remember to pause.
There can sometimes be a delay over video, so make sure the interviewer is completely finished their thought or question before you answer.
Remember, just like an in-person interview, first impressions are everything on a video interview too!
- Katie Buchta