We’re seeing an increasing frequency in which video interviews are serving as a sort of in-between the in-person interview and telephone screens. We’re seeing more and more HR professionals asking for these video interviews, even if you happen to be as close as across town as they save time yet allow you to get a better picture (literally) of a candidate on video interview versus the phone. We’re providing the basics in video interviewing tips, but if you’re a candidate with Willory, we’ll help you with one-on-one advice and practice sessions.
Find out the platform your interview is on (Skype, GoTo Meeting, etc.) and practice with a friend on that platform to ensure your laptop is set up to work smoothly with no interruptions for installation. Often the interviewer will set aside an allotted amount of time for the video interview, so you don’t want to eat into your own time installing and connecting to a platform new to your laptop.
Additionally, invest in your equipment like you would invest in a professional interview outfit. An HD external camera and an external microphone will make you sound and look better.
However, it doesn’t matter how much you invest in equipment or how hard you’ve prepared if you can’t get online. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid Wi-Fi and be hard-wired into your internet connection to help ensure a robust connection.
Also, whatever you are using, make sure every piece of equipment is fully charged the night before the interview.
Find a Distraction-Free Setting
Pets, kids, roommates, and noises are all distractions you want to avoid. Make sure you let everyone you live with know that you have an interview and that you cannot be disturbed either in-person or by a loud TV or music. Get someone to walk your dog if you need to and get the cat into another room, so he/she doesn’t walk across the desk in the middle of your interview.
Your video interview setting should be well lit (naturally lit if possible) without pictures, posters, and other “conversational pieces” in the background. Making a personal connection with an interviewer over your mutual love of the Browns might make you a right candidate for a hangout, but the discussion is only cutting into your time to prove you are the right person for the job.
Finally, sit in a stationary chair. You may get nervous and rock or move in a chair with wheels – to make sure you sit still, find a chair that forces you to remain stationary!
Prepare Like It’s In-Person
If you’ve never done a video interview, you should practice! One way to do so is to connect with a friend using “Google Hangouts” and have them feed you a few softball questions. Answer as if you would in the interview and then watch it back as Hangouts records to YouTube.
One thing you may notice is that if you are making eye contact with the person on the other end, it will NOT look like you are making eye contact at all. Make eye contact with the actual camera and put the camera at eye level, so it doesn’t appear you are looking down. You’ll also avoid the dreaded double chin from looking down and put yourself in the best light.
Dress as if you would for an in-person meeting. Don’t be overly formal yet don’t wear a concert t-shirt! And dress for the interview from head-to-toe even though you won’t be visible below the waist – it will put you in the mindset to do your best.
Finally, one thing you can do in a video interview that you cannot do in person is have some “cheat sheets” at the ready. Use some sticky notes close to the camera with your job-specific accomplishments and questions at the ready. Don’t look down to come up with these – appear to be on top of your game by rattling off critical points without looking at notes. You look impressive, and it works!