6 Ways to Ace Video Interviews

May 14, 2020

By Elizabeth Harkness, Human Resources Manager

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Video job interviews are becoming more common in the hiring process due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  With stay-at-home orders in place for many areas, video interviews prove to be the best way to continue the hiring process without causing major delays.  These interviews are both cost and time-effective, and I believe they are here to stay.  If you have one coming up, read the following suggestions from our recruiters, so you can go into your next interview ready to impress. 

1. Pick the Right Spot

You get to pick the location where you feel most comfortable during a video interview. Find a quiet, private space with good lighting and limited distractions.  You need to give 100% of your attention to the interviewer, so lock doors, alert household members, silence your phone and do whatever you need to do to ensure that you will not be interrupted.  

Also, be aware of your desk space and visuals behind you.  The desk should be free from clutter, and the background should be as neutral as possible.  You do not want anything distracting interviewers from what you are saying.  

2. Be Prepared

Before the interview starts, check that your internet connection is strong. Do a test run on your webcam and audio to ensure they are working.    Adjust the lighting in the room and make sure the person you are meeting with will be able to see your shining face. Remember to close any open tabs or applications on your computer.

3. Dress the Part and Be On Time

Interviewing from home does not mean you disregard the mantra: Dress for the job you want.

During a video interview, dress professionally just as you would during an in-person interview.  Pay attention to your hairstyle, makeup, piercings and other jewelry.

In addition to dress, punctuality still matters in this type of interview. Make it a point to be a few minutes early to the meeting room.

4. Act Normal

First things first: look into the camera and make eye contact.  This seems obvious, but you would be surprised at how many candidates struggle with this one.  Eye contact demonstrates focus, exemplifies confidence and maturity and lets the interviewer know that you are interested in the position.  Without good eye contact, you risk sending the wrong message about your interest in the position or, worse, your level of professionalism.

Speak slowly and clearly.  Pay attention to the tone of your voice and do not be afraid to take your time to respond.  With different internet connections at play, you want to make sure you do not interrupt or talk over the interviewer. 

Also, show some of your personality! Smile (when appropriate), laugh at a joke, adjust your posture or nod to acknowledge active listening.  Body language is a major component of non-verbal communication. Remember, the visual is the main reason you are participating in a video call in the first place instead of interviewing over the phone.  

5. If Things Go Wrong

With technology, there is always a chance things could go wrong.  Your video or audio stops working, someone enters the room unexpectedly or outside noises interrupt the conversation. It is okay! Try not to get flustered.  Be patient and have a back-up plan ready:  

  1. Switch the interview to a phone call.
  2. Mute the microphone while the interviewer is speaking and wait for the siren to pass. 
  3. Pet your barking dog to keep them calm or have treats on the ready.

Use this hiccup as a way to show the interviewer that you are adaptable.

6. Always Write a Thank You Email

You made it!  The video call is over.  

Once you have ended the call, send individual emails or notes to each person who interviewed you.  Try to vary your messages a bit in case they decide to compare them.  Follow up emails show your desire for the position and allows you to reinforce reasons why you believe you are best suited for the job.

As with any job interview, this is your time to shine.  By using these video interviewing tips, you can help ensure that you are fully prepared to make the best impression possible.   

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Category: Culture