How to Prepare for a Video Interview

Research shows that 71% of employees are looking for new jobs. Whether you’re looking to change positions, climb the corporate ladder, or pursue your career options, your interviewing skills can make-or-break your first impression.

The video interview has become a mainstream method for employers to screen their candidates and ultimately hire their next employees.

That said, it’s even more important to learn how to make a killer impression. Let’s get into what you need to know!

Prepare Beforehand

It’s normal to feel nervous before an interview, and even the most seasoned employees tend to feel jittery in the moments prior to an important meeting.

That’s why you need to prepare for a video interview with the same level of research that you would for a traditional interview. This means understanding the company and their ethics. It also means understanding the job description and how you would best occupy that role.

No matter the format of the interview, you want to demonstrate why the company should feel honored to have you- and not the other way around. Practice identifying your strengths and workplace accolades. Prepare answers for complicated answers related to how you’ve managed work stressors in the past.

Consider the Equipment

First things first, avoid using a tablet or cell phone at all costs for video interviews. They are inflexible, grainy, and at the mercy of a cell phone connection or spotty WiFi. 

Webcams

Some computers have built-in webcams. However, you should test these out to determine their efficacy and clarity before tuning in for the interview.

For less than a hundred dollars, you can invest in an external webcam that will provide a higher-quality image and more opportunity for flexible positioning.

For an optimal external webcam setup, place the webcam on a box behind your monitor so it lies just above your eye level and almost aligned with the top of your head.

Headsets

If you’re concerned about distracting background noise, headsets can help you stay focused. It can also help improve the tone and clarity of your voice (which makes you come across as more confident).

Lighting

Professional photographers will tell you that lighting is everything when it comes to capturing a good photo, and this principle also applies for dominating your interview. After all, what looks better? A grainy, pixelated blur or an image that accurately shows who you are? 

You don’t need a fancy lighting set-up. In fact, simply positioning two lamps on each side of your desk with the light filtering at the height of the webcam can make a drastic improvement.

Prepare Your Outfit

You already know how important your outfit and appearance are for crushing that first impression. However, video interviews have different rules to consider when compared to traditional interviews.

For example, it’s best to avoid wearing pure white or black colors. Whites can come across as overly bright and even distracting due to lighting. The black can create an overexposure effect, which can make your face look blurry and washed out.

Avoid clothes with dramatically different contrasts. Instead, stick to solid, softer, matching color patterns.

If you’re considered about skin shine, consider makeup on the nose and forehead areas (this applies to men, too!).

Finally, if you wear eyeglasses, it’s best to wear glare-proof lenses during the interview. If you don’t have those on hand, it’s best to switch to contacts. You don’t want your interviewer to struggle with a frustrating glare.

Check Your Technology and Set-Up

Having a good connection is essential for your interview. It’s typically best to avoid WiFi and instead make sure that you are in a connection speed that ranges 10MBps or higher.

Before the interview, check your lights, test your webcam, and make sure that your microphone is working. Reposition the webcam and make any adjustments to your outfit and face.

Finally, it’s time to prep your computer to set you up for success. Close out of any other tabs or running programs that could interfere with your interview. Clear off your desk of any miscellaneous papers or items (you really only need to keep a notepad and pen next to you).

Scan the area around you. It’s best to have a neutral background. Get rid of any of the clutter lying around, as it may come across as distracting to the interview. 

If you have the option, see if you can run a short test video-call with a friend. This will help rule out any technical issues, and it will also give you the chance to ease any anxieties. 

Maintain Good Eye Contact

Eye contact is one of the most significant factors in nonverbal communication, and for a good reason. Eye contact conveys confidence and strong interpersonal skills, both of which are important in screening potential candidates.

While this isn’t easy face-to-face, it can be even harder over a video interview. For one, most of us naturally want to divert our focus to the other person’s face. However, if the monitor or webcam location is too high or low, it can appear to throw off your eye contact.

Obviously, you shouldn’t stare down your interviewer. Eye contact should feel natural- not overly aggressive but not overly avoidant.

Final Thoughts On Succeeding In Your Video Interview

Making a lasting impression during your video interview doesn’t need to be a mystery. With the right preparation and a positive mindset, you’ll be well on your way towards impressing your next employer!

Interested in learning more about how video production can benefit your or your company? Check out our top quality services today!

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