Video interviews are becoming standard for many organizations as a part of their hiring process. Our recruiters at Performance Search Group share tips on how to be prepared for a video interview.
Pick A Location Without Distractions
You get to control your interview environment in video interviews. When choosing a location to have your video interview, be sure it is free from distractions and background noise. A quiet room at home is ideal where possible distractions such as children and pets can be eliminated. Minimize background noises such as a television on or music playing.
Be sure to give yourself ample time to setup and become comfortable with any necessary equipment. You want to make sure everything is working properly and that your environment, camera, and microphone are setup to your advantage.
Position yourself to enable looking into the camera, not the monitor. This will aide in giving the impression of eye contact with the interviewer. Have the camera close to eye level as possible to minimize looking up or down at the interviewer. It is best to position the camera and monitor so you can glance at the other interview participants in the monitor briefly without breaking eye contact at the camera too often.
Center yourself in the screen and at a medium distance from the camera. Avoid placing the camera long distances away such as at the end of a long conference table. You should appear from around the middle of your upper arms and not have an excess of screen space above your head. Sit up straight and avoid slouching or leaning to one side. Leaning forward slightly towards the camera helps increase eye contact. Conversely, leaning back can create a feeling of distance.
The lighting of your interviewing environment is important to ensure interviewers can see you well. If possible, arrange the lighting so you are not in unflattering shadows or washed out. The coloring on you from any lights should be as lifelike as possible. Watch for reflections from your glasses.
Much like an in-person interview, your appearance is important in a video interview. Pastel shirts and interesting ties that are not too busy in pattern work best for video interviews. Pastel shades work well on television, as do bright blues, pinks, fuchsia, and green.
Be prepared for a slight delay in receiving audio and video during the video interview. Hesitate slightly in knowing there will be a delay for both you and the interviewer. It will take a few moments to get accustomed to this. Try and get into the habit of hesitating briefly before speaking to assure the other person has finished speaking and again when you complete what you have to say letting other participants know when you are done.
Don’t forget the camera catches everything while it is on. Do not use it or your video preview as a mirror to fix your hair or makeup before or during the interview. Likewise, do not relax or comment inappropriately after the interview until you are sure the camera is off.
Your body language should mimic that of an in-person interview. Most people find it only takes a few minutes to get comfortable in a video conference interview. One important tip to remember is to look straight into the camera or monitor at the interviewer. This will give the impression you are looking into their eyes and speaking directly to them.
Avoid excessive motion. Rocking in your chair or rapid arm movements will appear as a blur to the interviewer. Don’t be unnaturally stiff however. Relax just as you would if you were speaking to someone in person.
Speak naturally into your microphone. The microphone will pick up your audio without you having to raise your voice. There is no need to shout or alter your voice.
Show your energy and enthusiasm for the role! Remember the camera will stay static. Image and voice are all you have to make yourself interesting and stand out. Don’t forget to smile!
Set up your notes, pen, water, and reading glasses in such a way they are accessible but out of camera range. Refrain from shuffling papers or tapping a pen during the interview as it may be picked up on the microphone.
Use First Names
There is no sweeter sound than your own name. Studies show that even patients in a persistent vegetative state react to the sound of their own name – that’s how powerful this tactic is. Remembering to use first names can help create a strong impression and make the video interview more personal.
Ask About Next Steps
Make sure you ask your interviewer for all the necessary follow up information before ending the video interview, including: what the next step in the interview process might be; a timeline of when/how potential candidates should expect to be notified if selected for additional interviews; and a number/email to contact with any further questions.
Send A Thank You Note
Sending a follow-up note or email can keep you fresh on the team’s mind and reinforce the fact that you’re a courteous and thoughtful person – all great things to do no matter where you are in the hiring process. Plan to send a note or email as early as the day of the interview or the morning after.
Although preparation is important, the job is really only the right job for you if it’s right for both of you – the interviewee (you) and the employer (the company). Being professional but still yourself is the best way to save wasted time and disappointment in your job search.
Video interviews are becoming more common in the interviewing process. If you have questions while preparing for a video interview or searching for your next career opportunity, please feel free to reach out to us.