Finally! You get that interview request you’ve been waiting on for the past two weeks. Good for you, but that was the easy part. Now it’s time to prepare yourself for your interview to ensure a well-received and memorable experience for the employer, putting you at the top of the candidate list.
Interviews can be overwhelming, then throw in the request for a video interview and you could be scrambling to educate yourself on the dos and don'ts of a proper video interview presence. Don’t panic, it’s really not so different from an in-person interview.
You can resume the normal level of interview panic, because these tips will put you at ease, at least for the virtual part. (Seriously though, don’t panic at all, you’ll do great!)
Find an Ideal Environment: Establishing a distraction-free environment for your interview is vital. Ensure you will be alone so as to avoid background noise. The more organized and minimalistic your background is, the better. If you can place yourself in front of a plain wall, the interviewer will be able to focus on you, and not what’s behind you. If you absolutely do not have the capacity to be in front of a plain wall, at least ensure that your surrounding environment is neat and tidy. This will show the employer that you are capable of organization and understand the importance of it in a professional environment.
Lighting: Set up good lighting! Sit in a brightly lit room or set up lamps near you to make sure the interviewers can see your face. If you look like you’re about to tell a scary campfire story, you need to adjust. You want your face to be well-lit and seen. This video has some helpful ideas for setting that up in your home or office.
Check Your Tech: Ensure a smooth start to your interview by testing your video equipment in advance, multiple times. Check your camera, your audio, and make sure your computer is plugged in or charged and is not expecting any updates. The longer the delay in your interview because of technical issues on the candidate’s end, the more frustration can build, causing a potentially negative experience. You want to be memorable, but not because of a difficult interview.
Most importantly, have a backup plan!
Dress the Part: Having a virtual interview doesn’t mean you can show up in your pajamas. Dress as if you were interviewing in person, not only to look presentable for the potential employer, but also to feel presentable and confident. While you’re choosing your outfit in advance, research the company to get a feel for their culture. Overdressing or underdressing can be a sign that you haven’t prepared properly.
Bonus Tip: Be mindful of your color/pattern choices for the camera! Avoid white, pure black, and overly bright colors. These will not pair well with your lighting and can be distracting or wash you out. Busy patterns are never a good choice for the camera. Try wearing softer, more solid colors, such as blue.
Interview Time: It’s time for your interview! You’re dressed to impress, in a distraction-free, well-lit environment and your equipment is all working fine. This part is surprisingly not unlike an in-person interview. You’re about to begin your mission of proving why you’re the ideal candidate for this position to the employer.
Here are some important tips to remember during the interview:
Silence your phone
While you can’t physically lock eyes with the interviewer, look directly into the camera while speaking rather than at yourself or the interviewer.
Be mindful of your non-verbal cues
Body language will still be read, just as it would be in a physical interview. Be alert and professional, avoid fidgeting and getting distracted.
Let your personality shine.
Employers aren’t just looking for someone who’s technically capable. They want an addition to the team, someone who has interpersonal skills.
Just as you would in a physical interview, thank them for their time, and then follow the standard “after-interview” process.
First impressions may not be everything, but they’re certainly important. Your video interview should not differ from an in-person interview in the sense that you should showcase yourself and prove your worth to the company. While you might be the most experienced and qualified candidate, if you don’t stand out in a personable way, you might be overlooked.
Never hesitate to reach out to us to practice a video interview or ask questions.