How to prepare for video interviews
How would you like to do a job interview from the comfort of your own home?
Just think about it: No more hoping your clothes don’t wrinkle too badly on your way to the office. No more sitting nervously in a hallway with a handful of other candidates, waiting to be called in. And the ability to literally kick back and relax as soon as the interview is over.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? And the best news is that the number of companies conducting video interviews is on the rise — especially due to global fears around the coronavirus. For example, both Google and LinkedIn recently announced to job seekers that they’d be conducting job interviews virtually.
So if you’re looking for a job and a potential employer asks you to do a video interview, how can you best prepare? Keep these six tips in mind:
- Make sure your hardware works. Whether you’re conducting the interview on your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, you can’t afford to have any equipment glitches during the conversation. If you’re using Wi-Fi, find the location in your home where reception is the strongest. Keep in mind that a hardwired connection is preferable because it’s faster and less prone to interruptions. In addition, check that the microphone and speakers on your device or headset work properly.
- Familiarize yourself with the tech. Medium advises getting comfortable with the specific tool or program — Zoom, Skype, or another app — you’ll be using ahead of time. Review how to turn your audio and video on and off, and if relevant, find out how to share your screen.
- Minimize distractions. Choose a quiet setting where you won’t be interrupted. It’s also advisable to stop all message and email alerts for the duration of the interview, since they can be distracting.
- Prepare the setting. After choosing where you’ll conduct the interview, make sure the area is well-lit, without backlighting. Clear away any clutter so your environment appears calm and professional. Place your résumé, job application, and any other supporting materials you’ll need in a spot where you can easily access them without leaving the screen.
- Choose appropriate attire. According to The Balance Careers, it’s best to dress professionally — just like you would for an onsite interview. Don’t make the mistake of dressing down from the waist down. You never know when you might have to stand up during the virtual interview.
- Look into the camera. This will give the interviewer the impression that you’re looking him or her in the eyes — as opposed to when you look at their image on the screen. Looking into the camera can also help you project an air of confidence — plus, it shows you’re accustomed to using tech tools.
If you’re nervous about conducting a job interview virtually, Lifewire recommends doing a test run with a friend a couple of days in advance. You’ll be able to practice looking at the camera instead of at the screen, and your friend can provide you with constructive feedback about your appearance and setting. Most importantly, make sure the technology doesn’t get in your way, but instead enables you to properly showcase your abilities and qualifications to the interviewer.