Video interviews are more and more common every day. They can seem scary, and there are things you’ll want to avoid. Let’s walk through the top tips to coming off polished in your next video interview!
What should I wear to a video interview?
Dress as professionally as you would if you were showing up in person. Yes, that includes wearing decent clothes below the waist (you never know if you’re going to have to pop up out of your chair while on camera!). You might be thinking that “video” means “not so formal”, but impressions count. And yes, even if the interviewer is at home on his couch, in a hoodie and a baseball cap, dress for the event. That guy already *has* his job.
PS – if you wear glasses, make sure you have only the interview on your computer screen. If the glare or reflection shows off that you actually have Facebook open while you’re interviewing, that’s not going to bode well for you.
Where should I sit during a video interview?
First things first: Someplace QUIET. You want to make sure your interviewer can hear you just fine, and that you can hear the interviewer. Eliminate as much background noise as possible. The location should also consider your background (a plain wall with minimal distraction behind you is best). This isn’t the time to show off your collections and create opportunities for your interviewer to pay attention to something besides YOU and your answers. Lighting is also important! You want to be lit from the front (shining on your face) not from behind (lamps and windows bright behind you). When the lighting comes from behind, your face gets very dark and hard to see.
What kind of tech set up do I need?
Obviously, you need a video camera and a screen. But after that, your internet connectivity is the next most important thing. If you can hardwire into the internet, that’s best. If not, make sure you have a great wifi connection, and turn off all other applications that might create notifications or be competing for internet access (mail, text messaging, browser windows, etc.) If you are not in a quiet place, consider using headphones or earbuds, both to make sure you’re hearing them correctly and eliminate background noise (it’s okay to ask “Do you mind if I’m using earbuds?” to get that out of the open).
Where do I look while during a video interview?
This one is weird. You *think* you’re supposed to be looking at the interviewer’s face, in their eyes. You’re not. This is because if you’re looking at the screen, it means that they are seeing your eyes look down or to the side, depending on where your camera is mounted. It seems crazy but look directly into the camera, as it will give the impression that you are looking directly at them. Remember: Looking at them is different than seeing them. Yes, definitely glance at the screen periodically to make sure you’re reading body language and facial expressions. But when you’re talking, look directly into the camera. Put a big sticky note with an arrow next to it if you need a reminder!
What do I do with my hands?
Minimizing movement on camera is great, but you also don’t want to come across as a mannequin. A certain amount of hand movements and gestures is totally acceptable. One warning about what NOT to do with your hands: If you can avoid it, don’t type your notes! The clickety-click click can be very distracting to your interviewer! Have a pen and paper with you for note-taking if you are so inclined.
Any other tips for me?
- If you need some reminders to yourself about points you want to make, you can hang a sticky note next to the camera, in your eyeline,
- Show up a *little* early for your interview, 3-5 minutes. If the company has its stuff together, you’ll be hanging out in a virtual waiting room. You don’t need to be there 10 minutes early, but you definitely don’t want to be late!
Have you been through any video interviews? What tips do YOU have for my readers? Comment below!