6 tips to help you nail your video interview

by Trish Ryan

Until recently, very few companies utilized video conferencing for interviews. Today, it is becoming more and more prevalent, if not commonplace. A video interview can either be live or in a pre-recorded question format. Both require preparation as it is a bit different from a telephone or face-to-face interview.

How do you prepare for success?

  1. Make sure you have your experience, dates employed, and highlights of what you have accomplished on hand, along with any other talking points you might need.
  2. Dress as you would normally dress for a face-to-face interview. I once did a virtual interview and the candidate’s doorbell rang. I told him to feel free to answer the door. When he stood up, he had shorts on. We had a nice chuckle, but I would always recommend you dress as if you were meeting in a corporate environment.
  3. Make sure you find a location that provides a suitable lighting and background. You don’t want to look washed out or sit in front of a distracting background. If the lighting is too dark or bright, the camera can perform poorly and may cause the interviewer to subconsciously develop the wrong impression of you. Test out your location and lighting ahead of time.

    Also, I recommend that you log in early to the interview so that you can test your connection and make sure everything is working the way it should. Nothing is more stressful than trying to connect with minutes to spare and experience a technical glitch. Give yourself ample time for setup.

  4. Make sure your camera is as close to eye level as possible. Eye contact with your audience is important. You do not want your camera on an angle looking up at your face. You want your eyes to be looking forward to the picture of the person speaking to you. If you’re looking too far above or below the angle of the camera, it can appear that you aren’t confident.
  5. Practice with a friend. Utilize skype as a test. Sometimes there might be a delay. Make sure you allow the interviewer to finish their question before you begin answering. The more you practice, the more comfortable and familiar you will become with the platform.
  6. Practice and think about how you will close the conversation. Remember to be authentic. You want this company and person to get to know the real you and all you have accomplished. Let your personality shine through as if you were sitting in the interviewer’s office. Being on video can be awkward if this is your first time. Preparation leads to confidence.

Here are some of the top questions you want to be prepared to answer:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • What have you accomplished in your current position?
  • What are you looking for in your next position?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Tell me about a situation where you failed and how did you handle it?

Asking insightful questions that are specific to the company and position you’re interviewing for will help illustrate that you’ve done your homework. Here are a few examples of questions that may work for you:

  • What are the top priorities for this position?
  • What challenges do you hope the person who fills this position will be able to solve for you?
  • What is the company’s management style?
  • How would you describe the responsibilities of this position?
  • Can you share any short term or long term goals your team is working towards?

Whether you are face-to-face or virtual, use these tips to present yourself in a positive light. You know where you have been, where you are at, and where you want to go. Be clear and concise in your communications. If you take the time to plan and prepare and go into the interview with confidence, you’ll know you put your best self forward.

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