Nailing a Video Interview

skype video conferencePhoto/ Kablau Communications

Good morning, my dear readers!

Due to the global nature of freelancing, job interviews in my line of work aren’t always conducted in person; in fact, most are conducted by e-mail, website messaging system or by Skype.

So how do you make sure you make the most out of the video job interview?

1. Test your equipment

I totally agree with Vivian Giang over at Business Insider when she stresses the importance of testing your equipment ahead of time.

I would advise making time perhaps the day before or a few hours before your interview to “phone a friend” and make sure your camera and microphone are in tip-top shape.

2.  Brush up on body language

A video interview isn’t any different than a job interview when it comes to personal visibility. Although you’re not in the same room with a person, behave as though you were. Be sure to dress well (I think perhaps business-casual would be appropriate), sit up straight, maintain eye contact (with the camera, not your screen!) and smile!

3. Clean your room!

messy bedroom

Tip: This is not an acceptable backdrop.

Photo/Sparkle Stories

This goes along with my previous point. Make sure your video interview is in a relatively clear room. I would recommend sitting with a non-descript wall behind you, perhaps a window…a bookshelf would even be nice, provided it’s relatively organized. Plus, it gives you that doctor-or-lawyer-who-really-looks-like-they’re-smart-and-know-what-they’re-doing vibe!

4. Seal it up

It’s a good idea to lock your door when it comes time for a job interview. Minimize your interruptions; turn off your phone (or set it to silent), turn off or shut out any white noise you can. Breaking away from the video for whatever reason looks unprofessional and takes needed attention away from a prospective client. And that’s just no bueno.

5. Cheat

cheat sheetPhoto/Student Beans

 

No, really!

Forbes Contributor Debbie Swanson makes a good point – use the fact that you’re not in the same room with the interviewer to your advantage! If you can’t remember what questions you’d like to ask, an answer to a particular question or what have you, have a Word document open with some notes! But as a word of caution, I don’t think it’s wise to type notes while on a video conference. If you must take notes during a job interview, what I would do is ask the interview if they would mind if you took notes and write them out the old-fashioned way! Keystrokes are disruptive when the mic is too close to the keyboard, so writing might be the best option.

Do you have any tips for interviewing via video chat? Feel free to leave them in the comments below, and happy working!

– Adam

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4 thoughts on “Nailing a Video Interview

  1. Spark Hire July 29, 2014 at 1:24 pm Reply

    Very nice tips, Adam! We offer similar advice to job seekers who participate in video interviews on our platform and have a blog dedicated to offering them advice — http://blog.sparkhire.com.

    It’s great that you discuss body language! Interviews are definitely stressful, but job seekers should do their best not to allow nerves to negatively affect how they present themselves. This means being conscious of what you’re doing with your hands, feet, eyes, etc. You don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity because you gave an employer a reason to question your sincerity or credibility. It is important for job seekers to be aware of their body language. You want to make sure that you are presenting yourself in the best way possible. Be sure not to slouch or lean back when sitting because this may give off the vibe that you are bored or disinterested.

    We also suggest to job seekers to avoid wearing white for their virtual interviews. Most people will equate white clothing with looking clean and very presentable. That can work for in-person interviews, but on camera white is not a wise choice. White clothing will appear brighter on camera and may overpower your face, potentially making eye contact difficult. Instead, choose darker colors like navy and avoid patterns – solid is the way to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adam July 29, 2014 at 4:16 pm Reply

      Excellent insight! Thank you so much for sharing and for tuning in!

      Liked by 1 person

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