Job interview prep looks slightly different over the last several months. Video job interviews are increasingly becoming the norm, requiring candidates to add computer placement, internet connection and learning new body language cues to their list of to-dos.
We’ve rounded up some of our key tips to helping you ace your next video interview. That way, you can focus on the most important part: landing the job.
1. Find an Optimal Interview Location.
Locate a space in your home or remote workspace that is quiet, offers great lighting and has a neutral background. Avoid settings that feature your bed or place you in front of a window.
2. Test Your Technology Beforehand.
Take 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled meeting to set-up your interview station and ensure your technology is working. Some items to include in your checklist: internet connection, headphones or sound, webcam and battery life of the device. For best results, ensure the camera is at eye-level.
3. Dress for the Camera.
Similar to in-person job interviews, it’s always best practice to dress to impress. Professional attire is preferred, but focus on wearing soft rather than bright colors or distracting patterns. This also goes for men when selecting a tie to match with their ensemble.
4. New Body Language Cues.
Video interviews can make human interaction feel stilted, and an already stressful conversation even more uncomfortable. But focusing on eye contact and controlling your body language can help convey confidence to the interviewer, even through the screen.
When speaking, make sure to gaze into the camera rather than the image of the interviewer on your screen. Make sure your back is up-right against your chair and limit any unnecessary fidgeting. Other common cues like not letting your eyes wander or nodding your head when the other person is speaking can show that you’re equally engaged in the conversation.
5. Treat It Like an In-Person Interview.
In all the ways that truly matter, your actions during a video job interview aren’t much different than that of an in-person meeting. Relying heavily on notes or having your smartphone handy both take your focus away from the interview. Remember: this is a conversation. You should have your key selling points memorized — only refer to notes for questions or other thoughts that drive the dialogue.
6. Prepare for Unwanted Distractions.
The best offense is a good defense, right? Have a back-up plan if something goes wrong because chances are, it will. Make sure you have the phone number of the interviewer, so you can quickly call if you’re unable to log into the virtual meeting.
If there’s an unexpected noise or disturbance outside of your controlled environment, don’t panic. Simply apologize for the disturbance and ask if you can mute your mic until it subsides. The same goes for unexpected housemates entering the frame during the interview. Apologize, mute your mic, shut off your camera, address the situation and move on.
7. Prepare for Recorded Interviews.
Some employers choose to have candidates enter a pre-recorded video conference where, after logging in, pre-recorded questions or text will appear on the screen. Candidates will only have an allotted amount of time to respond, so make sure you have your responses at the ready. Similar to live video interviews, maintain eye contact with the camera lens and use a conversational tone when providing your answers.
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