If it has been a while since the last time you had to search for a job, you know the times are changing – especially interview methods. No longer do you just sit down in front of a man in a suit – you’ve probably seen questionnaires, had phone calls, and perhaps more recently, done a video interview. With technology moving as fast as it is, not to mention budget cuts and other constraints, video interviewing is becoming more and more popular. Especially when the candidate isn’t in the same geographical region as the company, it is virtually cost-less for an employer to interview a candidate over video rather than fly them out. For tech companies, it’s also a good way to gauge your technical prowess.
Even though you are still face-to-face with the interviewer, there are differences in video interviewing that you should be aware of. Here are our tips for a successful video interview:
The first step in having a successful video interview is to have everything set up just right. After you and the interviewer agree on a program to use, whether it be Skype, Google Hangout, iChat, et cetera, make sure this program works for you on your computer. If you are unfamiliar with the program, make sure to play around with it well before your interview to get comfortable.
Check the program by connecting with a friend to test sound and quality and see how you sound and look on screen. If the program you use requires a username, be sure to make it professional sounding.
Make sure you are in a good setting – the interviewer will be able to see what is behind you, so try to find a space with a light background free of clutter. If you can, find a spot with something slightly more interesting than just a plain white wall – maybe in front of a (organized!) bookshelf, a wall with a nice picture on it, a plant, or even just a colored wall rather than white. Try to sit somewhere with even, natural light from a window to best flatter your face. If you’re unable, just make sure you are well lit and the lighting is even.
Get Rid of Distractions
Of course for the video interview, you’ll be on your computer, which tends to make a lot of noises. Make sure all other applications and programs on your computer are closed so nothing can pop up on your screen or make noise. Also limit distractions around you – shut off your cell phone, take your landline off the hook, and keep pets or children in another room.
Make Eye Contact
When talking via webcam, people have the tendency to look at the image of the person they are talking to, as in face-to-face interactions. However, you should actually be looking directly into the webcam itself, so that it will appear to them you’re actually making eye contact, which is very important. It seems very unnatural, but if it helps, tack a picture of a friend next to your camera with their eyes at lens level.
Dress as if you were going to an in-person interview. They can still see you, and you should still represent your best, professional self. This includes, though it may sound obvious, wearing pants – dress pants. Although you’re sitting in front of a computer, you never know when you might have to stand up or move around. Just in case, don’t just throw on the jeans. Be careful not to wear any bright colors or patterns, as they can look distracting over video.
Have a friend video chat you a little bit before your interview, just so you can warm up to talking into the camera and see how you look before the actual interview.
Lastly, just as for an in-person interview, make sure you are prepared! The content of a video interview will be the same as an in-person interview, including the questions they ask, the interactions with the employer, and the opportunity to ask questions at the end.
A video interview may seem intimidating, but follow these tips and you’ll be just fine. Do you have any other tips for video interviewing?
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