In the age of Zoom and Google Meet, participating in a video interview has quickly become the new normal.
But how do video interviews differ from classic on-site interviews? Is the etiquette different? Do you have to prepare differently?
The answer to all of these questions is simple: yes and no.
Video interview tips
Video interviews still follow a relatively similar format to regular ones. Everything you need Preparation for job interviews is working. In fact, it’s important not to forget these tips and advice as you prepare for your video interview.
But there are certainly a few differences to be aware of when preparing for a video interview. Things such as your camera, internet connection, potential technical difficulties, and background are all things to think about.
Here are some simple video interviewing tips to get you started for the big day.
Dress to impress
We’ve all heard of the pajamas-from-the-waist-down phenomenon during the pandemic, but some people take this a bit literally.
Just because you can do not mean you should.
In fact, many people assume that the usual interview dress code no longer applies when interviewing from the bedroom. But it does.
As the saying goes, dress for the job you want. Even if it’s in front of the camera, even if it’s in a room full of your kids’ toys. Not only will this help get a great first impression of you, but it will also get your head on point and help you feel more united and professional.
Check your background
This is something most people have never had to worry about, but it’s a crucial part of the age of Zoom and Google Meet.
When interviewed, your background should look clean, without too much clutter or distractions. Your interviewers could look at this exact background for about an hour while talking to you.
Things to look out for: hanging laundry, children’s toys, trash, dirty dishes, questionable wall art that others would rather not see. In other words, anything that might cast or distract you in a bad light.
Before your interview, take a short walk around the room you are in. Clear up trash, trash, or clutter and keep the background as simple and minimal as possible.
When you’re done, test your recording. Try out your webcam and see what the interviewer sees. This can help you see glaring problems from their end.
Minimize interference and background noise
We’ve all seen the video of the BBC interview with the kid dancing in the room by now. While you hope your interviewer finds this funny or adorable (it was pretty funny), not all interviewers have the same sense of humor.
Even if they understand, a major distraction like this can throw off your train of thought and the conversation itself. It can make you feel a little lost or nervous, so the best tip for video interviewing is to try to minimize interruptions.
If you have a dog, try to keep it away so it doesn’t burst in and start barking. Dogs always know when you’re on a Zoom call.
Background noise is another distraction. While you can’t eliminate it completely, you can try to find the quietest part of your home, turn off the air conditioning, and use a back room away from main streets to limit the noise. Also, remember that the mute button is your friend.
Test your technique and make a practice call
A crucial thread that holds the video interview together is the technology and internet connection. You can prepare any other way, but everything can go wrong if your tech or connection isn’t up to date.
So this is a video interview tip that you can’t skip! Before your interview, take some time to test your technology. Take a look at the quality of your camera and microphone, and make a test call with someone you know to see how you look and sound.
Make sure to test your internet speed in different parts of your house as well. If you can, opt for a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi. You can’t predict a sudden loss of connection, but these steps can help you reduce the risk of a bad connection.
Check the lighting
While this isn’t exactly a Hollywood production, the lighting is still important.
Natural light is good, but avoid pointing your camera at a window. Natural light is better behind the camera where it is not too bright and distracting. Ceiling lighting may make everything clear, but it may not be the most flattering light.
Experiment with a few different ways to light your shot to see what looks best. If you are not sure, ask someone else to video call you and ask for their opinion.
Maintain good posture
Interviewing yourself from home may make you feel more relaxed, but remember to maintain good posture. It doesn’t look good when you sit like you’re watching Netflix on your lunch break.
Instead, try to keep your back straight and swap out your chair if need be.
Sitting upright helps you look a lot more engaged than it is more casual. Try to sit on the edge of the seat, put your feet up and put your hands on the table.
Test your body language
This may sound strange, but a hidden benefit of video interviews is that you can do a practice run to see what you look like. Open your webcam and study not only your background setup but your body language as well.
Do you look relaxed or hunched over? Now is the time to adjust your seating position, chair height and monitor / laptop screen height for optimal body language and posture. Practice answering some questions using hand gestures until it feels more natural.
Frequently asked questions about virtual interviews
Is a virtual interview similar to a normal interview?
Although the structure is very different, virtual interviews should be taken just as seriously as normal interviews.
We tend to treat them as not that important or serious and maybe get a little also relaxed. But you should treat them the same way if you want to impress and win the job.
How can I look good in a video interview?
There are a few solid steps you can take to look your best in a video interview. Starting with the tech and camera setup page, some of the things you can do:
- Get a high quality webcam
- Make sure the lights are facing you and not behind you
- Sit in the middle of the video frame
What you can do to prepare, here are some video interviewing tips to help you look your best:
- Make sure you dress in business attire to impress
- Prepare for the interview as you would for a face-to-face interview
- Avoid flashy jewelry that could be distracting
- Practice good body language and posture
- Smile and make good eye contact
Most of these are simple tips, but worth remembering. Everything can feel different if you’ve never had a virtual interview before.
What do I need for a virtual interview?
The basic requirements for a virtual interview are a webcam, a microphone and a stable internet connection. You don’t need fancy lighting or expensive equipment, but you should test everything you already have to make sure you look and sound good.
Are all virtual interviews the same?
No, if some companies are overwhelmed with applications, they may opt for a one-way video interview. Here you will be asked questions and expected to answer them in a video recording. The recruiters then shortlist the candidates and usually invite them to a second live interview in order to get to know them better.
Ask the recruiters what type of interview it is so you can better prepare for it. Preparing for your video interview doesn’t have to be complicated. There are just a few additional steps to take before you click “Join”.
The best tip for video interviewing is to spend some time preparing, not just for what you are going to say, but your setup as well. The key is to reduce distractions and technical issues, and to look good in front of the camera.
With all of this preparation, you’ll land a job in no time! If you need help and guidance to find your dream job, get in touch with Ramit’s. at Find your dream job program Today you will receive a step-by-step guide to help you achieve your dream job.