7 Ways to Shine During Video Interviews

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

When you apply for a new job, you can’t always assume that the interviewer will ask to see you in person. Video interviews are now increasingly common, particularly where businesses use a single recruitment team in one place. Interviews using services like Skype bring their own challenges because you are no longer in the same room as the person interviewing you. Make sure you shine during every video interview with these simple tips and techniques.

Prepare your interview space

If you’re chatting to your friends on Skype, they won’t really care if there is dirty laundry on the floor, or the dog is running around in the background, but a potential employer may feel differently. Make sure you create the right impression and set up a good interview space. Try to choose a spot in front of a clean, empty wall, so that there is nothing to distract the interviewer. Choose a quiet room, where you can remain undisturbed during the interview, and make sure anyone else in the house knows that they must leave you alone.

Test your technology

Ask the recruiter if you need any specific software to take part in the call. If the interviewer is running a new version or a particular program, you may need to upgrade the software on your computer. Don’t wait until the interview is about to start to out you have technology issues. Try a video call with somebody else before the interview and make sure that the Internet connection is strong, particularly if you work wirelessly. It’s important that you are confident the interviewer can clearly see and hear you before you sit down for the interview.

Make sure you look good

Some people seem to think that they don’t have to worry about their appearance for a video interview, but this isn’t true. It’s really important to make an effort to look good online, even if the interviewer cannot see most of your body. Many candidates find video interviews much easier when they wear full business attire because this approach helps focus the mind on the task in hand. Always look smart for a video interviewer, making sure that, as a minimum, your hair, nails and face are clean and well-groomed.

Get there on time

Punctuality is just as important for a Skype interview as any other appointment, and an interviewer won’t appreciate it if you dial in late. Log in early, if possible, so that you can make yourself comfortable, and get ready to speak to the interviewer. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that it will be fine if you dial in from your iPhone while you rush to get home because you can’t be sure your mobile connection will work or that there won’t be a lot of background noise. Video interviews need just as much planning as face-to-face meetings.

Let the interviewer lead

Always let the interviewer lead the conversation during a video interview. It’s very easy to accidentally talk over somebody when they aren’t in the same room as you, particularly if there is a slight time delay on the connection. Make sure that the interviewer has finished speaking before you start to talk, and allow a slight pause so that you are sure that everybody is listening to you.

Get your basic body language right

It’s more difficult to make a good personal impression with an interviewer over a video conference. You cannot always easily read people’s reactions in the same way you would in person, so focus on the basics. Make strong eye contact with the camera, and smile while people are talking to you. Avoid distracting habits like rubbing your nose or scratching your face during the interview, and keep your hands still. Sit upright, and make sure that you don’t slouch or start to look down in front of the camera.

Focus on your speech

In a video interview, how you speak is just as important as what you say. Speak clearly and slowly because the sound quality may not allow the interviewer to hear you properly. You can use hand gestures when you speak, but try not to cover the microphone while speaking, or you will muffle the sound. Enunciate clearly, so that your interviewer doesn’t mistake words that sound the same, and make sure that you clearly repeat things if you do not believe that everybody understands what you have said.

Video interviews can help avoid unnecessary travel and speed up the recruitment process, but they aren’t always easy to pass. Prepare carefully, and make sure that you respond to the unique demands of this technology to maximise your chance of success.

Need help with an upcoming interview? The professional Career Consultants at Résumés for Results can assist you with interview coaching. At Résumés for Results we are experienced at assisting people to prepare for every interview scenario, including video interviews.

If you would like to know more about the writer, Jeanette Hannan [click here].