With video interviews becoming more common, being prepared can have a significant impact on the pursuit of your next career opportunity. Looking for ways to impress? Here’s how to handle a video interview:
Download and familiarize yourself with the video conferencing platform
Once you are confirmed for the interview and have been made aware of which video conferencing platform will be utilized, download the native application and test it! While most video conferencing platforms (Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc.) have similar functionality, there are nuances between them.
Being comfortable with technology prevents the added stress from a tech malfunction. Find a person you trust (or your Judge Recruiter) and use the tool to conduct a mock interview. You’re bound to make mistakes, so it’s best to practice with someone who can provide honest feedback.
Pro tip: Be prepared to use the screen share functionality to refer hiring managers to your achievements or provide explanations. Prepare a digital portfolio that you can link to during the interview or show the interviewer your screen, which has a sample of your work, (you could pull up a project plan, code repository, mobile app or achievement/award).
Test your audio and video
Just because your laptop has a built-in video camera and microphone doesn’t mean the quality is up to par for a professional interview. Test out the video and audio capabilities on your computer and decide whether you need to utilize a headset with a microphone or an attachable video camera. If you are in a position where your mobile device is the only option, make sure you cradle the device to limit video bounce to your interviewer.
Pro tip: Lighting matters! I personally utilize and recommend a Lume Cube for an extra burst of warm lighting! Keep the lighting in front of you and behind your computer.
Mind your background
Your surroundings can say a lot about how you’ve prepared for the interview, so it’s important to put your best foot forward. Shoot your video against a blank wall or a warm one-color background. Clear off your desk or have only awards and certificates in the background.
Be aware of and plan in advance for potential interruptions
Since you’re used to living in the house, it can be easy to forget to turn off a phone or not warn family members to give you some privacy. Have a plan for whatever distractions you may have in your house, including children and dogs. Too many people don’t take video interviews as seriously as in-person interviews, but you need to be just as professional, if not more.
Look at the camera, not the screen!
It can be confusing, but when you’re looking at your monitor it actually makes the interviewer feel as if you’re looking away. Instead, look directly at the video camera you’re using for your interview. And although you’re not making eye contact in the traditional sense, this is the way that the interviewer perceives that you’re looking straight ahead.
Practice in front of a mirror
During the interview, you can see yourself in the video camera, which can be startling if you’ve never seen yourself speak. It’s important to get familiar with your own facial expressions when you talk. Practice in front of the mirror. Ensure that your smile resonates.
Avoid patterned clothing
Wear a shirt or blouse that’s business casual and complimentary to your skin tone. Avoid patterns that come across as too loud on screen, such as anything floral or bright stripes. Clothing can distract the interviewer from the information conveyed during the conversation, so it’s important to plan your outfit carefully.
Add extra enthusiasm
Any news announcer will tell that your reactions translate differently when on-screen, so it’s important to compensate with extra enthusiasm and concise answers. Additionally, speak succinctly and remember that speed is important. Since there is a bit of body language with a video viewpoint, ensure that your body language is warm and inviting.
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