Remember when in-person interviews were the only type you had to prepare for?
Thanks to new technology, a potential employer can now request a video interview. And when one is requested, you may be caught off guard.
How are you to prepare for such a request? You can put your fears to rest. We’re here to help you out.
Read on to learn how to ace a video interview.
Prepare the Setting
Unlike a typical interview, you will be interviewed in your own home as opposed to the employer’s office. You want to make sure that the backdrop for your interview makes a good first impression.
Check the environment
You want to be the main focus of the interview, not your pile of laundry in the background. So make sure that before your interview, you clean up any clutter that may be seen by the camera (and the interviewer!).
You also want to make sure that you’re in a quiet area. Any background noise will take away from the interview, and it may throw you off. Plus, it will look unprofessional to have a TV or radio in the background.
A space that has a door you can close will be ideal. Any extra deterrents will direct the focus off you. You also want to make sure that your interviewer can hear and understand you.
Consider the lighting
How to ace an interview? Make sure that the lighting is good enough in the space you’re set up. Ultimately, natural light is the best for a video interview.
If you’re not able to get enough natural light, make sure that the artificial light in the room is not too harsh. Try to practice with your camera to see which lighting works best before the initial interview.
Test all equipment first
Imagine starting the interview and your webcam or microphone doesn’t work. Don’t start off your interview on a bad foot. Once you’ve made sure everything is working, do a test video just to make sure everything looks okay. You want to focus on your video quality to make sure that you’re seen at your best.
Making sure that all your equipment is working properly is how to ace a video interview.
Look like a professional
Though you’re going to be seen in a relatively casual setting, you still want to make sure that you’re dressed to impress. Your interviewer or recruiter will want to see that you’re a professional.
Any parts of you that will be seen should be addressed. One great way to prep for your interview is to dress as though you are seeing the employer in person.
Some things you should consider when dressing for your video interview:
- Don’t wear anything with crazy prints – Remember that you’re going to be on camera. So you don’t want to wear anything that will distract your potential employer from you. Wearing any stripes or outrageous prints will distract from your face.
- Wear something that won’t blend in – If you’re going to be sitting in front of a blue wall, you don’t want to wear a blue shirt. Try wearing something that won’t blend into your background. Wearing a white shirt or a lighter color will make you stand out from the backdrop.
- Remember to be professional – It’s worth addressing a second time – you want to dress to impress. Make sure that your hair, face, and even nails are all clean. You’d be surprised what the camera will be able to pick up. So just pretend that you’re sitting directly across from your interviewer.
Position Yourself Properly
How you position yourself in front of the camera will make or break your interview.
You don’t want to be too close to the microphone or camera. This may make you appear or sound awkward, and that’s the last impression you want to make.
If you’re sitting at a desk or table, make sure that your laptop or desktop computer is positioned so you look appropriate. You don’t want the camera to record at an unflattering angle.
And you don’t want to be looking down at the camera. If necessary, prop your laptop on something so you’re looking directly into the camera. Using a desktop computer? Try and position the camera so you’re eye level.
Another tip? Sit directly in front of the camera so you’re the center of the screen. This way the recruiter can see you properly. And remember that body language is very important when making an impression during an interview.
Act like You Know How to Ace a Video Interview
Now that you’ve gotten yourself all set up correctly, how should you prepare yourself mentally?
Just like a regular in-person interview, there are tons of ways you can prepare yourself. No one runs to an interview with no jitters or fears, so remember that your employer will know that you’re nervous. That will help you calm yourself a bit.
How to ace a video interview when you’re a bit nervous:
- Make eye contact – We’ve already established that you should have your camera at eye level. But that doesn’t mean you need to have a staring contest with your interviewer. Depending on the software you’re using, you should be able to see yourself off to the side of your screen. So if you notice yourself looking everywhere but at the camera, redirect yourself. Same goes for if you’re staring too much.
- Quit fidgeting – We get that you’re nervous. But constantly waving your hands or jiggling your leg is a huge turn-off, and it’s distracting. While these may be something you can get away with while you’re at a regular interview, some things don’t play out the same via video.
- Sit correctly – Imagine that your mother is telling you to “sit straight” throughout your interview. Slouching is a no-no. And leaning back in your chair will make you look ridiculous and overly confident. Find a comfortable balance of calm, but make sure your posture looks confident and cool.
You’re probably more comfortable with in-person interviews because they’re pretty standard. But throw in a Skype connection and nerves get even worse.
Remember these tips and you’ll know exactly how to ace a video interview. Focus on your posture, remember to dress like a professional, and be yourself!
Have you ever had a video interview? What are some other tips that you’d add to this list? Let us know in the comments!