Picture of Video Interview

In an time when viruses and social distancing are keeping us apart, video interviews will be on the rise.  Here are some tips if you are asked to have a video/online job interview. 

With the changes and recommendations in place to avoid social contact, People Plus will be conducting more video interviews.  While they are not uncommon, they can be intimidating if you've not done one before.  So here are some tips to help you be successful with any online job interview!

Tech-savvy or not, you should prepare as thoroughly for online job interviews as you would an in-person interview. Here are some top tips on video interviewing that will help you move ahead:

1. Test your technology

Before your interview, download any apps or plugins you need. Whether you are using Skype, FaceTime or Facebook Messenger, make sure you have a user name that’s professional, just as you would with your email address or social media handle. Make sure your camera and microphone are working by doing a test run with friend or family member.

2. Charge it up

Make sure any equipment you are using is fully charged and that you have strong WiFi on the day of the interview. Make sure your electronics are on a flat surface and stable to avoid a shaky image. 

3. Beware of your background

You want to interview in a quiet place with no distractions.  Hang a sign on the door asking mail carriers and package deliverers not to ring the doorbell. Avoid public places such as coffee shops which can suddenly become loud. Likewise, steer clear of libraries where you could be interrupted and asked to quiet down.

Make sure the background is free from clutter and embarrassing items like laundry piles. Set up lighting that’s bright but not glaring, illuminating your face from the front. Natural light is best.

Turn off email, text and social media alerts, software updates and other notifications that may show up on the screen during the interview. Turn off programs that might interfere with the webcam, and close browser tabs.

4. Be Early

Log in five minutes early so you can be calm and prepared when the video interview begins. Have a copy of your resume, the job description and any notes you’ve taken about the company or position.

Some basic interview questions to be ready for are:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Tell me what you know about our company. (Make sure you did your research!)
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What are your salary requirements?

5.  Dress for success

Dress as you would for an in-person interview.  Avoid wearing bright, flashy colors and choose something that looks neatly pressed while you’re sitting down. Wear your interview outfit during your trial run so you can get feedback from your friend or family member about how it looks on screen.

6. Body Language is still important!

Maintain “eye contact” by looking directly into the camera instead of at the screen or at your own photo. Make sure your face is centered and try not to move around. Keep good posture, sitting with your back straight, feet on the ground and arms resting in your lap or on the desk.

7. Speak Clearly and Remember to Pause

Make sure you speak clearly and loud enough to be heard. Check your volume controls and speak clearly so the microphone picks up your voice and the interviewer doesn’t have to strain to hear you. And remember that digital connections can sometimes be delayed. To avoid talking over the interviewer or having your first few words cut out, let the interviewer finish the question and then pause for a few seconds before delivering your answer.

8. Close with a Thank You!

Please and Thank You are still magically words!   Be sure to thank the interviewer for their time and the opportunity. Then, follow up with a thank-you note within 24 hours. In your note, briefly reinforce why you’re interested in the job and why you’d be a great match for the role and company. Personal notes are best so think about adding something that you and the employer discussed while getting to know each other. 

You only get one shot to make a good first impression, so plan ahead to make it count!

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Mar 13, 2020 By Amanda Huddleston