What If You’re Asked To Do a Video Interview?
With all the advancements in technology in recent years, there have been huge changes in almost every industry. One new technology that many companies have adopted is conducting interviews via video over the Internet. Whether this scares or excites you, we’ve compiled some helpful tips for you to read over before your next video interview.
Technical issues are most commonly the cause of problems that people experience when conducting video interviews. Although technical problems are often unavoidable, there are a few things you can do to prepare and potentially avoid losing connection or not being able to hear/see your interviewer.
Download any technology required for your interview (such as Skype) well in advance of your actual interview date. Play around with the program before your interview so that you know how to work everything or fix potential future problems. Check the sound inputs and outputs on your computer/the program. Before your interview, make sure that you close all other open windows on your computer, especially if it might make noise! The last thing you want during an interview is Lil Wayne to start blasting out of your computer.
If, even after all this careful preparation, you still experience connectivity or technical issues during your interview, be sure to acknowledge them out loud. Your interviewer wants to know if you cannot hear the questions they are asking and will appreciate the honesty.
One of the biggest questions you might be asking yourself is, “What in the world am I supposed to wear?” The best advice is to treat this video interview as if it were an in-person interview. Know the company culture before you interview and dress appropriately. For example, if you’re interviewing for a corporate position at a Fortune 500 company, you want to wear a suit, whereas if you’re interviewing to be a park ranger, the vibe will be completely different. Another thing to keep in mind is that the lighting in videos can be unflattering. To look your best, avoid busy patterns and dark colors – wear solid, bright colors to make yourself stand out in a good way.
Before you begin your interview, prepare your surroundings. Eliminate any clutter or items you don’t want seen in the background – make your background as clean and simple as possible. Your surroundings tell a lot about you and you can be sure that your interviewer will notice.
Avoid overhead lighting – this washes you out and makes shadows in unflattering places, making you look tired or worn out. On a similar note, don’t sit in front of a light or window. This will make you look like a silhouette and your interviewer won’t be able to see your face. Place a light somewhere in front of you (on the other side of the screen), so that your beautiful face is illuminated, not washed out.
This might seem obvious, but MAKE SURE that there are no distractions when you are interviewing. Video interviews usually take place at your house, so there are many different things that can distract you. Sit in a room alone and shut the door; you don’t want any pets and children wandering into the picture!
Your behavior and body language are arguably some of the most important things to pay attention to when interviewing over video. Before your interview, practice answering questions via video chat with a friend, so you can learn all the ins and outs before the big day. To avoid looking unprofessional, set your webcam at eye level and look at the camera not the screen, so as to appear to be making eye contact with your interviewer.
It’s easy to get distracted by a number of things during a video interview. Avoid this at all costs – your interviewer can tell! Stay present in the conversation, utilizing active listening. Don’t just be thinking about what you’re going to say next; really pay attention to what your interviewer is asking you. And, last but not least, SMILE!