It's May 2020 - and almost all interviews are currently video interviews.
This is new, mmm
How to make sure you’re great in front of the camera?
Hopefully you already have some experience from doing video meetings, but fear not if you have not as there are a number of simple things you can do to enable your success.
Pay attention and we'll put you in a position to excel, just as you would in a regular face-to-face interview.
1. Test the tech
The day before the interview, do a technical trial run to ensure your equipment is working correctly. Download any apps or plugins you’ll need. Whether you’re using Skype, Zoom of Teams make sure you have it all working correctly.
Check that your computer’s camera, microphone and internet connection are working. Do a trial run with a friend or family member, if possible, so you have ample time to adjust if any of your equipment or software is malfunctioning.
If you have already been using the platform for personal communication, ensure your name on the platform is not your nickname or a pun! It is better to have a username that’s professional, just as you would with your email address or your linkedIn profile.
If you’re using a laptop or tablet, make sure it’s fully charged on the day of the interview and that your room has strong Wi-Fi.
2.Choose the right setting
Find a quiet, private, and well-lit place to do the interview—make sure to avoid busy spaces where you can’t control the background noise. Choose a room with a clutter-free backdrop.
Pay attention to the lighting. You want the interviewer to be able to see your face clearly, so try a test video beforehand to make sure lights aren’t casting any shadows on your face. An overhead light shining down on them from the ceiling can create shadows and can be very unflattering.
Similarly if a window is behind you you will appear in silhouette and make it difficult for the interviewer to see you.
Generally, your best strategy is to sit opposite an open window. If you’re doing the interview at night—which may very well be the case if you have a full-time job—you can brighten up dim space by adding floor or desk lamps.
Lastly if you do use a tablet or phone for your interview find a way to make sure you are not carrying the device and making everything look shaky at the other end!
3. Be distraction-free
Turn off email, text and social media alerts, software updates and other notifications that may show up on the screen during the interview. Turn off programs that might interfere with the webcam, and close browser tabs.
This will stop your eyes darting to the corner of the screen and making you appear disinterested.
3.Dress the part
Although you’re not going into an office to meet with the interviewer face to face, you still need to dress appropriately for a video interview. A polo shirt or semi formal top should make you look clean and professional. The rumpled worn for days look is not appealing.
Also, don’t wear checks or stripes—they can be distracting on camera.
4. Frame yourself from the chest up
Showing yourself from the waist or chest up is generally recommended for video interviews. You don’t want to look like a floating head, or to be so close to the camera that the interviewer can see your pores.
Framing your upper body, allowing hand movements, and clear sight of your face and shoulders will appear the most professional.
5.Watch your body language
Having good eye contact is crucial during any job interview, but it’s especially important during video interviews. Your camera should be at eye level. Looking down into the camera, or up into it (like security footage) just looks poor.
When in conversation nod and smile when it’s appropriate. If your volume is good you shouldn't have to sit there rigidly straining to hear every syllable.
Keep good posture, sitting with your back straight, feet on the ground and arms resting in your lap or on the desk.
Remember that the benefits that you get in person like being able to really exchange and understand non verbal cues are much more difficult when you're doing a video interview. And its a two way street, you can make the interviewer comfortable by being prepared yourself.
Trying to bringing your natural body language to video might feel like acting, or feel awkward to you, but it will appear quite normal.
6. Be well-prepared and be early
Log in five or 10 minutes early so you can be calm and mentally prepared when the video interview begins. Have your resume nearby, along with the job description and any speaking points you want to hit or notes you’ve taken about the company or position.
You won’t want to spend the interview reading from the pages, but having them handy as reference can take away some stress.
Be practiced in some common interview questions, including:
Tell me about yourself.
Why do you want to work here?
Why are you leaving your current job?
What are your weaknesses?
What's your expected salary?
7. Voice - Project and pause
Project your voice. You should have checked your volume controls so the interviewer doesn’t have to strain to hear you, and speak clearly so the microphone picks up your voice.
Digital connections can sometimes be delayed. To avoid talking over the interviewer or having your first few words cut out, let the interviewer finish the question and then pause for a few seconds before delivering your answer.
8. Close the video interview
Briefly reinforce why you’re interested in the job and why you’d be a great match for the role and company.
Acknowledge the changed circumstance and then as normal, you should thank the interviewer for the opportunity.
Think about adding something that you discussed during the call to sign off on a more personal note.
And good luck :)