In 2015, it was reported that more than 60 percent of companies use video technology for conducting interviews and engaging in virtual meetings with candidates.[i]
Given the rapid advancement of technologies that support virtual communication, we can assume that these numbers have only increased since. Today, video interviews are considered as a fast and cost-effective way to evaluate job applicants. However, much like traditional job interviews, excelling at a video interview is easier said than done. In this article, we are going to discuss the top video interview tips for job seekers that can help you put your best foot forward during a video interview.
1. Set Everything Up
To ensure a hassle-free video session, you need to make sure you have all the necessary equipment set in place before giving a video interview. There are multiple things to consider here. Firstly, make sure you have a stable internet connection. You must also set up a separate account on Skype, Apple, Google Hangouts, or another video chat platform you are using. Many job seekers tend to have screen names that may appear a tad unprofessional. We suggest that you choose something simple such as your first name and last name.
Make sure that all your equipment is functioning properly before the interview, as well. This includes your headphones, your mic, your webcam, and your computer system.
2. Dress Professionally
A video interview is much like a conventional interview session. You’ll have to make sure you are dressed appropriately and that your attire is in accordance with the office dress code of the company you have applied to.
While it’s true that an interviewer can only see the upper half of your attire, bear in mind that anything can happen during an interview session. If the interviewer sees that you are only wearing shorts or sweatpants from the waist down, then this will not look professional.
Additionally, dressing up for a meeting or an interview has psychological benefits too. It helps you feel more confident and reassured. This can help you do well during the interview.
3. Make Sure You Don’t Get Interrupted
You also need to make sure that you can give your video interview without any unnecessary interruptions. If you live with your friends or family or have a housemate, then make sure they steer clear of your room while you are giving a video interview. You’ll have to clean the room too and ensure there’s nothing in the background that comes up as a red flag for the interviewer. If you have pets, you’ll need to keep them at a safe distance during the interview, as well.
4. Do Your Research
One of the most important video interview tips for job seekers is that you do your research on the company and the role you are applying for. You can visit their website and find out about their workplace culture, organizational goals, competitors, their financial position, and any recent milestones they may have achieved.
It’s important that you know who your interviewer is, as well. They’ll usually be named on the calendar invite so you can address them by name. If they are not, you can ask the recruiter you’ve been speaking with about them.
5. Frame Yourself Properly and Make Eye Contact
You also need to take care of things like the video frame and making eye contact with the interviewer.
As far as the latter is concerned, you must look directly at the interviewer while giving a video interview. Many job applicants make the mistake of looking at their screen instead of the webcam during video interviews.
To avoid this, you need to ensure that your camera is at eye level and that you appear at the center of the video frame. You can do a test run and conduct a video chat with a friend or family member to get some practice.
6. Keep Your Posture In Check
Much like a face-to-face interview session, non-verbal cues such as your posture matter in a video interview too. Make sure you are sitting in an upright position and your shoulders don’t slump. You can also adjust your chair to make sure you are at ease during the interview. Give yourself enough space to recline back and lean forward when required.
7. Check Your Background
Your surroundings matter a great deal when giving a video interview. You can use a neutral background that doesn’t have any patterns. A cluttered background can impact your bandwidth and your connection might get disrupted. If your video interview is on Zoom, you can use their green screen feature so that if your room is a bit untidy, it’s not visible to the interviewer.
8. Adjust the Lighting
This is another important thing to keep in mind when preparing for video interviews. You’ll have to adjust the lighting to make sure things don’t appear too bright or too dull. You can place a soft light source over your webcam. Make sure the light doesn’t shine directly at you.
You can also try using large lamps with shades installed for optimal lighting.
9. Try and Avoid Any Unnecessary Background Noise
You need to try and make sure there isn’t too much noise in the background while giving a video interview. If you don’t live alone, choose a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted mid-interview. Close any windows to expel noise from the outside, as well.
As mentioned earlier, if you have any pets, then you can ask your friends or family members to keep them engaged while you give your interview.
10. Have Some Questions Ready
An interview isn’t just about answering a handful of questions. Recruiters and hiring managers appreciate candidates that have some questions of their own about the organization, as well. This indicates that you have done your research about the company in question and that you understand your worth as a candidate.
You can ask about the type of benefits the company provides, what type of career growth opportunities you can expect, and what type of tasks and assignments you are likely to get if you are hired.
Asking these questions will also help you make a more informed decision about whether you want to work in the company or keep looking for a better opportunity.
Make Sure You Are Fully Prepared
We hope these video interview tips for job seekers prove to be useful for your next video interview with a prospective employer. The best way to excel at video interviews is to prepare for it in the same way you would prepare for a face-to-face interview. You must dress to impress, maintain direct eye contact, and keep your posture in check. Additionally, you need to make sure that all your equipment is working properly. Try not to be nervous and most importantly – remember to smile!