So you’ve been called to sit for a video interview. First of all, congratulations! Secondly, you’re now going to have to brush up on your video interviewing skills. Once you’ve mastered good job interview etiquette, it’s time to take a look at the specifics of video interviewing. This guide shows you how to make the best impression via video.
The screen test
Let’s face it, it’s way harder to make a good impression on video than it is in person. And a job interview is nerve-racking enough as it is, without the added awkwardness of video. If it’s a live stream, there could be incidents of talking over one another or not hearing questions and answers properly. This is why it’s so important to “screen test”. You can see exactly how you look and come across on video by recording yourself practicing interview answers. You’ll see whether you’re smiling too much or not enough, whether the light is good in the location you’ve chosen, and whether you have a tendency to fidget.
Be conscious of what you wear to a video interview – the same rules as normal interviewing don’t apply here. While a clean white shirt works for a real life interview, white can be too bright and distracting on camera. Video experts recommend wearing toned down neutral colours, and nothing with distracting patterns. So swap out your favourite striped tie for something more subdued, and switch that fashionable cardigan for something plain.
Body language is hugely important, and no less in a video interview than in a real life interview. Although you’re not sitting directly opposite your interviewer, you’ll want to make appropriate eye contact. Not enough and you’ll appear distracted or lacking confidence; and too much will come across as unnatural or aggressive. A good rule of thumb is to never hold eye contact for more than 5 seconds. Look at and away from your interviewer while speaking.
Test, test, test
Sounds like a no brainer, but we know that time can get away from us. Always test your equipment before jumping into your video interview. Trial your interview with and without a headset – a headset with a mic could be the difference between an echoey and hard-to-hear interview, or a crisp and effective one. Aim to conduct your interview where you have a neutral background. No artwork, books or other personal items should be showing. Usually a clean white wall will serve you best.
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