Updated: Jan 14, 2019
Job interviews through Skype, Google Hangouts, and other conferencing tools are becoming increasingly common and are now often the first step in the screening process.
When preparing for a video interview, there are a lot of additional things to think about and prepare for beyond your answers to questions. I recently had a client call me for video interview coaching because she, “Didn’t want to look like a troll on camera.”
While I doubt you look like a troll, here are our top tips on how to ace your video job interview and stand out from the crowd:
1. Prep Your Video Space
Make sure that you have a clean, uncluttered space in the background of your interview. You don’t have to have a bare wall, but make sure that whatever is behind you is not distracting. If you don’t already have a home office space set up, you can move your furniture around temporarily to create the best space for your video interview.
2. Set Up Your Lighting
Lighting is crucial. Most webcams do not capture much light, so try sitting in front of a window or set up desk lights or floor lamps in front of you. Put your lights a couple of feet away from both sides of the monitor at a slight angle. Make sure to test the light before your actual interview to make sure it is even and flattering across your face.
3. Set Up Your Audio
If sound quality is a concern, we recommend using a headset (or even headphones with a microphone) rather than your computer speakers for clarity. You will sound much clearer, and you will be able to hear the interviewer much better as well.
4. Dress for Success
Make sure to dress as you would for an in-person interview. However, make sure to wear solid colors, as patterns and prints will look busy on camera. And, be sure to dress professionally from head to toe because you never know if you will have to stand up to adjust the camera or get something. You do not want to get caught with your pajama pants on!
For women, note that dainty jewelry and subtle makeup will not always come across on camera, so feel free to dial it up a notch from what you would normally wear to be sure it is noticeable.
5. Be Enthusiastic and Confident
Video interviews don’t always portray your personality well, so you want to make sure that you are enthusiastic about the job and company you could potentially work for. Instead of looking at your screen, be sure that you are looking directly at your actual camera, this helps you appear more engaged and confident.
6. Do a Trial Run
Have a Skype call with a friend to get feedback on your video quality, lighting, sound quality, background, and how your personality comes across. The way you appear on Skype can be slightly different than the way you appear in person, so it is wise to ask for feedback so you know what to adjust for your actual interview.
If you are pressed for time, you can also record yourself doing a mock interview using online webcam recorder tools.
7. One-Way Video Interviews
One-way video interview tools that screen candidates’ answers to recorded questions are becoming increasingly popular. If you find yourself preparing for one of these interviews, it is helpful to know that you often are being recorded from the time you log on to the platform, not just when you are answering the questions. Be sure to have everything ready and don’t say anything while on the platform that you would not say in front of a live interviewer.
Video interviews can be daunting. Contact us today to set up video job interview coaching to make sure you are well prepared before the real thing.
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Our services include executive-level resume and cover letter writing, LinkedIn profile creation and optimization, recruiter connections, and modern job search coaching.
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