Video interviews for job applicants are becoming quite common. The advantages are obvious. You don’t need to spend time and money traveling to a destination, and while you are waiting for the interview to start, you can get work done on your computer.
On the other hand, you can’t simply put on your best outfit, prepare yourself for tough questions and show up on time. Imagine yourself as an actor on a TV show, except that in addition to being the star you are also the producer, the director, the camera person and the set designer.
Here are some tips for managing those roles in order to succeed in a video interview.
Find an appropriate setting. Choose a room with plenty of lighting. An office environment is ideal, but if you will be interviewing from your home, do realize that employers will judge you by what they see in your surroundings. Ideally, you should have a blank wall or bookshelves behind you. But any background that does not create a negative impression will do.
Select the proper hardware. If you bought a laptop recently it will probably have a built-in video cam, as will all tablets and smartphones.
Pick your software. Most job seekers will choose Skype because it is so widely used, is relatively simple to operate and works on the Windows, Mac, Android and Apple iOS platforms. However, your prospective employer may want you to use a different platform.
Test your tech. On the day before your interview, make sure your video device and your network connections are working. Allow yourself enough time to fix any issues that arise.
Make a practice video. This means recording an actual video of yourself answering questions you expect to be asked. Check to see that your camera is at eye level. Practice looking into the camera to make eye contact. Frame yourself from the chest up so that you don’t look like a talking head. If you are used to video chats with your friends, keep in mind that a video job interview needs to look much more professional.
Dress for success. Whatever you would wear to an in-person interview is what you should wear to a video interview, with a few exceptions. Avoid whites, which may look too washed out on screen, and plaids, which look too busy on a screen compared to in-person. Do, however, wear pants or a skirt even if they won’t be on camera.
Watch your body language. Sit up straight. Look into the camera and make eye contact. Smile, look relaxed and speak slowly. Don’t cross your arms.
Turn off all other apps. Shut down any unnecessary apps or programs on your device to avoid unwanted and embarrassing interruptions during the interview.
If you prepare as you would for an in person interview and then follow these tips for a video job interview, you should increase your chances of making a great impression and getting a job offer.