Career Resources

Career Resources

Tips for the Video Job Interview

Posted October 21, 2013 & filed under Interviewing

Tips for the Video Job Interview

Whether you are for or against the concept of video job interviews, they are not going anywhere any time soon. More companies are adopting the video interview format rather than spending the money to fly remote candidates out to their offices. While the expectations are similar to what you would get from an in-person interview, there are a few differences that should be noted. Follow these tips to lock down your next job without ever stepping foot in the company’s office.

Find a quiet corner

You want to find a calm, relaxing place where you can focus solely on the interview. This works best if you have a laptop, otherwise you will have to lug your desktop to the most comfortable and professional looking setting in your house. Find a quiet café if your house or apartment setting isn’t right for you. Wherever you go, just make sure it is a quiet, distraction free zone. You can even throw on some headphones to drown out any unwanted noise.

Make it look good

If you do stay home, make sure to get rid of any embarrassing or unprofessional objects that will be seen behind you. Also, make sure there are no direct sources of light that will cause a glare on the screen, for you or the hiring manager. You can, and should, test out the view from your webcam before the interview starts. Make sure the background is pleasant, non-distracting, and entirely professional. Having a hiring manager constantly looking over your shoulder at the nude art on your wall is not a good thing.

Test your equipment

Run a trial interview with a friend or family member to get used to conducting yourself during the video interview. Test different volume setting on your microphone so it doesn’t appear that you are yelling or whispering during the interview. Make sure that your computer is working perfectly as you don’t want glitches or the blue screen of death to crash your interview. Finally, do not rely solely on your battery. Always bring a charger just in case.

Silence the kiddies and pets

Having your cat, dog, or toddlers jumping on you during the interview may make you look like a fun loving family member, but it will be terribly distracting to you and the interviewer. Plus, it makes you look careless and terribly unprofessional. Hire a sitter if you have to, but keep the family members (both two legs and four) out of the video interview.

Dress the part

Just because you are doing the interview from home doesn’t mean you should look like you just rolled out of bed. Normal interview dress codes apply. Don’t think you can get away with not wearing pants just because the webcam only shows you from the waist up! Even throw on a nice pair of shoes. Dressing the part will not only make you look good but it will boost your confidence as well.

Make eye-to-lens contact

Do not forget that looking at the hiring managers’ eyes on screen is not the same as making eye contact. From his or her viewpoint, you will just appear to be staring at their chest. Keep in mind that your camera lens is the hiring manager’s eyes, so you should look directly into the camera as you speak. Having said that, breaking eye contact with the lens every now and then is normal. Staring at the lens for the entire video interview is the equivalent of walking into someone’s office and staring them in the eyes for the entire time you are there.

Break a leg

Besides these few differences, this is just like any other interview. Don’t forget to hit those talking points, ask those well-prepared questions, and prove to the company that you are the best person for the job.

By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of number657 via Flickr