Since video interviewing is becoming common practice in the job application process, candidates should be prepared to participate in video interviews at some point during their job search. The KOPPLIN & KUEBLER team has been using digital interviews for the last three years so we wanted to share some important tips for preparing for a video interview.
While video interviews are more convenient than traveling to an in-person meeting, they can also be daunting. Many people are not comfortable in front of a webcam and are not familiar with using the technology. However, with these tips and some practice you can increase your confidence and the success of your next video interview…
- Dress appropriately from head-to-toe. That’s right, even from the waist down! You’ll feel more professional, and a recruiter won’t get an accidental glimpse of your sweatpants. For the best appearance, where a white shirt, conservative tie and dark suit for men and a jacket and white shirt with skirt or slacks for women.
- Test your equipment prior to the interview including the Internet connection, lighting, video, and sound. If possible, use a wired (vs. wireless) Internet connection which is stronger and more dependable. Place the webcam just above your sightline. Looking up slightly is a more flattering angle and it encourages you to sit up straight.
- Practice, practice, practice, and remember to smile, which goes a long way on a digital interview. If a one-way video interview offers practice questions, take advantage of them to check your settings and get more comfortable with the process.
- Choose a quiet place to interview with a clean background so that there are no audio or visual distractions. Put a do-not-disturb sign on the door.
- Close other programs on your computer so there are no interruptions from incoming mail or Facebook messages. Give the “interviewer” your undivided attention.
- Look at the camera to make eye contact, which is just as important in a video interview as in-person. Consider taping a sign next to the camera as a reminder of where to look. It is okay to look at the interviewer when they are asking the question, but direct your responses directly to the webcam.
- Check the thumbnail image of yourself on the screen to see how you appear to the interviewer, then ignore it during the rest of the interview. If you find your own image on the screen distracting, close that window if possible, or cover it with a post-it note.
- If you are recording a one-way interview, be aware of the timing so that your answer is not cut short. And don’t be afraid to make a mistake and start your answer over. Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s better to fix your answer than continue with a poor choice of answer.
- Avoid using hand movements, which are more distracting on video than in-person.
- Use the notes you prepared for the interview, but don’t rely too heavily on them for your answers. Write them so they can be quickly scanned for thoughts and ideas, but don’t use them like a script.
- Before your next interview check out Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on having confidence in stressful situations entitled: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. It is a 20-minute investment that is well worth your time.
Follow these tips and add some practice to help you feel more confident for your next video interview. Just as with a traditional interview, and most things in life, preparation and practice are the keys to confidence and success!
– Nan Fisher
Nan has worked with Dick Kopplin for over 14 years. She is the Administrative Manager at Kopplin & Kuebler, LLC. E-mail your “Ask Nan” questions to:email@example.com