Video job interviews are becoming more common in the hiring process. These interviews can take a variety of forms. If you have one coming up, it's a good idea to become acquainted with all of the variables so you can prepare. This guide will walk you through the different types of video interviews, what you should wear, and helpful body language and eye contact tips.
Before we go any further, keep in mind that the content of a video job interview can be similar to that of in-person or phone interviews. As a result, the following information will be helpful to you as you prepare:
Video interview locations
In-office video interviews
Some video interviews will take place at the office of your potential employer. It happens when you are interviewing with someone from a company based in a different location. In this case, you should follow the best practices for an in-person interview: prepare ahead of time, dress appropriately, arrive early, and be respectful of everyone you meet.
When you arrive at the office, you will attend the video interview in a room that contains all of the equipment you will require. Before they leave, ask the person who brought you to the room to assist you in setting up the interview and ensuring that everything is in working order. You should also inquire how you can locate them if your audio or video connection fails at any point.
Remote video interviews
Some video interviews happen outside of the prospective employer's office. You will be responsible for locating a quiet location with a good internet connection and a computer or laptop with a webcam in this case. You will need the following items:
- An internet connection with a minimum bandwidth speed of 1 megabit per second.
- A webcam on a laptop or desktop computer. A tablet or smartphone may also be an option in some cases.
- Headphones with an integrated microphone or headphones and a separate microphone.
- Find a place that is quiet, private, and well-lit.
- Set up your webcam with a neutral background that is free of distractions.
- Avoid coffee shops and other public places.
If you do not already have these resources, you might want to consider the following:
- Investigate the resources available at your local public library. Some libraries have private rooms that you can reserve with the necessary equipment.
- Ask your friends if you can borrow their equipment.
- You can rent the equipment.
Pre-recorded vs. live video interview:
Some interviews will be live, which means you may join a video conference via a link provided by the employer or connected via Skype, Google Meet, or another video conference provider. You will see and speak with an interviewer on the other end once you are connected.
If you use a personal Skype or Google account, make sure you have a professional username. If you are unsure whether your username is appropriate, you should create a new account for your video interviews just in case.
An employer may use pre-recorded video interviews on occasion. In this format, the employer will instruct you on how to participate on the interview date. You will have to respond to interview questions that have been pre-recorded or appear in writing on the screen instead of speaking with someone. You will record your responses to each question, and the employer will later review the recording. There is frequently a time limit to respond, and you will have more than one opportunity to record each answer.
Whether your video interview is live or pre-recorded, make sure you've closed any other apps or windows on your computer that could disrupt the conversation or slow down your internet connection. Before you begin the conference, turn your phone to silent.
How to dress for a video interview
Dress professionally for your video interview, just as you would for an in-person interview. Before your interview, do some research on the company culture to get an appropriate sense of how to dress.
Avoid bright colors and patterns in favor of softer hues to look your best on camera. If you're going to wear a tie, go with a solid color rather than a patterned one. Adjust the lighting in the room if you wear glasses to reduce glare from the lenses.
Place the camera so that you are slightly up and centered on the screen. While the interviewer will most likely only see your upper half, it's still a good idea to dress if you need to stand up for any reason professionally.
Body language in a video interview
During an in-person interview, eye contact is critical, and you want to convey the same level of connection during a video interview. Here's how to do it: When answering a question, resist the urge to look directly at your interviewer on the screen. Instead, when you speak, you should look at the webcam. When you do this, your eyes are more likely to align with the interviewer on the other end. You can return your gaze to the screen while listening.
Maintain a positive attitude and convey optimism with your body language throughout the interview. Good posture is one way to achieve this. Sit with your back straight and your shoulders open in your chair. Place the feet on the floor, and place the arm in your lap or on the desk.
When you're listening, nod and smile when appropriate to show that you're paying close attention. When appropriate, use hand gestures and keep your movements close to your body. Avoid fidgeting or averting your gaze from the device.
Practice and technical setup
It is good to do some practice by doing video calls with friends or family members. Request candid feedback on your appearance and eye contact from them. Repeat the process a few times until it feels natural.
This practice can make or break your interviews. You should set aside time in your schedule in the weeks and days leading up to your interview to increase confidence and become more comfortable in front of the camera.
As you prepare for your interview, go over the following checklist:
- Make sure you won't be interrupted by locking the door or notifying others that you won't be disturbed.
- Clear the desk space except for a notepad and a pen/pencil for taking notes.
- Prepare a copy of your resume as well as any other notes for future reference.
- Put a glass or bottle of water on the table for yourself.
- Check that your webcam is operational.
- Check to see if your audio is working.
- Close any windows, tabs, or applications that are not in use on your computer.
- Check your internet connection to ensure that nothing is downloading in the background.
- Turn your phone to silent mode.
- Check that the background behind you is neutral and clutter-free.
- Make adjustments to the lighting in the room. If the room appears dark or dim, bring in an extra desk lamp to brighten it up.
How to Troubleshoot Your Video Interview
There is always the possibility that something will go wrong with technology. Here are some contingency plans to have on hand in case.
If your video or audio suddenly stops working
Ask the interviewer for a phone number to reach them if you have technical difficulties before the interview. If the video cuts out, dial that number. Inquire whether you can continue the interview process over the phone or if you can reschedule.
If background noise interferes with the conversation
If noises (sirens, construction, etc.) interrupt your video interview, apologize and request a few moments until the noise subsides. If the noise is too loud, you should mute the microphone.
If someone unexpectedly enters the room
Family members, housemates, or pets, if they enter the room while interviewing, apologize to the interviewer, request a few moments, mute your microphone, turn off your camera, and then step away to deal with the interruption. Before resuming the interview, double-check that the room is secure.
As with any job interview, you should thank the interviewer for their time in the end. Later that day, send a follow-up thank-you email (or the next day if your interview was in the evening). This message may help you establish a stronger connection with your potential employer and advance to the next step.
Tips for video interviews
- Find a quiet, private, well-lit location that is free of potential interruptions.
- Check to see if your internet connection is stable.
- Check to see if your computer's audio is working.
- Examine your computer's webcam.
- Close any web browser tabs and applications that are no longer needed.
- Avoid wearing bright colors and dress professionally.
- On your desk, keep a pen, a notepad, and a copy of your resume.
- When you're listening, nod and smile to show that you're paying attention.
- When appropriate, use hand gestures.
- Set your phone to silent mode.
Video interviews are the same as any other aspect of the application process. Some people are naturally better or worse at creating video resumes but, with practice, it will get better. You can practice by making a video resume using ClipHire.