While many employers prefer to meet potential employees in person, initial and internship interviews are often conducted on screen.
It’s almost certain that you’ll be exposed to video interviews throughout your career, so it’s a good idea to learn all the tips and tricks.
Here’s what recruiters look for in a video interview:
What is a video interview?
Most video interviews have the same format as a regular interview, but are conducted via Skype (or a similar application). This is what is known as a live video interview.
In rare cases, you may be asked to upload a video of yourself answering interview questions. Think of this as the equivalent of a paper test.
You may think you should answer the questions in a regular Skype interview as you usually would. And it’s true. You should. But like any other interview, it’s about much more than just answering the questions.
We all know that personal appearance and attitude are critical to success. In the case of video interviews, it goes even further. Not only do you need to be well-dressed and well-behaved, but you also must present yourself well on the computer screen.
The film technician’s job is to find the perfect picture, the excellent sound, and the perfect angle to introduce yourself appropriately.
10 tips to prepare for video interviews
1.Use a professional screen name
If the Skype name you usually use is mundane, change it or create a new account. Instead of a fancy name, use your first name, initials, last name, and (if necessary) your phone number.
If you use web conferencing software for your calls, enter your name or email address. Be sure to avoid spelling errors.
2.Confident tone and body language
You won’t know how you look on screen until you record yourself speaking and see the results. However, with practice, you can recognize bad habits.
If you were expecting a question, practice it specifically. Give your answers directly to the camera, look at the results, and make adjustments if necessary before the next time.
3.Wear professional clothes
It is necessary to dress for a video interview just as you would for a regular job interview. You can wear casual trousers under your desk, but make sure everything visible is office appropriate.
4.Choose a suitable location
Choose a place with a simple, clean background, preferably with plain white walls. There should be nothing to distract the viewer’s attention. If you are using your own home, do not show personal items, such as what kind of TV you have.
5.Please do not disturb
Choose a calm place and ask family members or roommates not to disturb you. It is vital to put cell phones in silent mode. Put a note on the doorbell. Lock your pets in the bathroom.
6.Make sure faces are visible
Set up a webcam and take test shots. How is the lighting? Your face should be well lit. However, if you have fair skin, direct light can make you look ghostly.
Get a couple of lamps and light yourself from different angles. Try several times until the webcam image is perfect.
Wash your face before the interview because oily skin can make you look shiny on camera. If you wear makeup, keep it light and simple.
7.Take balanced shots of the head and upper body
If possible, set yourself up to look like a newscaster. The interviewer should be able to see a little under the desk. The head should almost always be at the top.
Yes, that means you can see the hand in front of you. You can’t have an instant friend message you to help with tricky questions or obsessively check your notes, but you shouldn’t be doing that anyway. Putting a notepad in front of you and taking some notes is okay.
8.Make eye contact
You must look directly into the webcam for perfect eye contact on video. In practice, for live video interviews, you need to see the interviewer’s face on the screen to respond appropriately.
To take advantage of both, you can resize the window and get as close to the webcam as possible.
However, try out how well this method goes down, so you don’t get a creepy look. If you have no choice but to look wide-eyed and wooden, place a picture of a person directly behind the webcam and speak into the camera.
9.Fix all technical problems
“Sorry, my webcam is not working!” – These are the last words the person you are talking to wants to hear.
To avoid such embarrassment, test the equipment beforehand. If possible, do a test run with the application you’ll be using for the interview, and if it’s a Skype interview, do a Skype call with a friend.
If you’re using the company’s web conferencing software to make the call, it’s not as easy. You’ll need to ensure the camera and microphone work with other applications and keep your fingers crossed.
A good internet connection is also essential. Make sure you have an alternate location, such as a friend’s house, if you have a terrible broadband day.
If your laptop microphone doesn’t provide good quality audio, it may be worth investing in another. But be careful that you may need to spend £60 or more to make a difference.
Also, plan enough time to test your set-up before the interview and make changes if necessary.
Remember, even though it sounds like a lot of work, you are learning a valuable skill.Video conferencing will become more popular as your career progresses – in ten years, you may give an important presentation to the CEO via webcam.
You’ll be glad you know how to set up the lighting when you do.