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11 Tips for Successful Video Interviews

Interviewing can be a difficult and nerve-racking process. But, when you have a job interview via a video conference, like Zoom, it adds another layer of stress to the already stressful experience. Below are 11 tips for doing a video interview.

1. Treat it the same as you would an in-person interview

Video interviews are very similar to having a face-to-face conversation with someone. They can offer an opportunity to showcase your skills and explain how you use them in a way that helps your potential employer see how much you understand their industry. An effective online interview will also give your potential employer a chance to see you in action and perhaps even get to know you better before making a hire. 

2. Dress Professionally

Just like with an in-person interview, it is important to dress appropriately. Be sure that your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free so as not to distract from the conversation or make you look sloppy on camera. When you are dressed professionally,  you will feel more confident and your potential employer will be able to see that, in turn making them more likely to want you.

3. Prepare for Technical Difficulties

Okay, no one is perfect and sometimes things go wrong.  Be sure to be prepared for technical difficulties, such as a bad connection or your microphone not working. In order to help prevent technical difficulties,  it is good to have a backup plan in place (like using the speaker on your phone) and always make sure that you are connected to a strong internet connection. Also, test your microphone and video prior to the call to ensure they’re working properly.

4. Provide a Good Webcam Angle & Background

During your video interview, you want to be sure that the interviewer can see your face and shoulders. Your webcam should sit on top of the computer monitor with nothing blocking it from being seen by the interviewer. You can even try moving it around until you find an angle that offers the best view.

If you’re interviewing in an office or other indoor location, make sure the background is not distracting and that it’s a neutral color (preferably white). If you are outside during your interview, try to find natural areas like trees, plants, or water as backdrops.

5. Close Out of All Tabs You’re Not Using

You will want to close out of all tabs you’re not using. This may include your email, social media profiles, or other websites that might distract you. The last thing you want is to get halfway through an interview and be distracted by something on the other tab.

You may even want to use a pop-up blocker for your browser. If you use a pop-up blocker, switch it back on while doing your video interview. This will help you avoid any sudden or unexpected messages that might interrupt the flow of what you are saying.

6. While You’re Speaking, Gesture with Your Hands

When you are speaking, gesture with your hands (i.e., use hand motions that can be seen). This will help to keep the interviewer engaged and interested in what you have to say. Using had gestures will help you avoid fidgeting, which is a natural habit when you are nervous.

7. Make Eye Contact with the Camera When You Speak

If your video interview is conducted over Skype or Zoom, make sure to make eye contact with the camera when you speak. This will help your interviewer know that you are paying attention and engaged in what they have been saying.

8. Sit Up Straight!

Sitting up straight is one of the best ways to avoid slouching and fidgeting during a video interview, which can be distracting for the interviewer. Sitting up straight not only makes you look confident and engaged, but it will help your interviewer see more of your face.

9. Spend a Few Minutes Writing Out Some Notes

Prior to your video interview,  spend a few minutes writing out some notes. This will help you to avoid the common mistake of being unprepared for your interview and it will generate more content that can be used in follow-up questions or future video interviews. However, make it a point to refer to the notes as little as possible. You don’t want to be reading from them during the interview.

10. Smile!

It’s hard to say anything without smiling, and it will help the interviewer feel more comfortable with you. Besides, people always respond better to those who smile during interviews

11. Be Yourself!

Don’t try too hard to make the interview perfect because it will just come across as inauthentic and you won’t get hired. Just relax and answer questions with confidence; this is what potential employers want to see! 

Video Interviews can be Intimidating, but it is All About Practice!

During a video interview, your goal is the same as in a face-to-face interview. If you want to do well in a video interview, you need to have the same goals as you would in an in-person, live interview:

  • be confident and comfortable
  • ask questions about the company to show your interest in them
  • demonstrate you have researched their business 

Good luck with your interview!

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