Do not make the mistake of thinking not having an in-person interview means you do not have to do as much preparation.
In many ways you should prepare for your video interview in the same way you would for an in-person one. You should still thoroughly research the company and the role and prepare to talk through your experience. You should be ready to answer common interview questions and think about the questions you want to ask them in return.
Key Things to Keep in Mind for A Video Interview Include:
Dress to Impress
For your video interview, you should still dress appropriately and be just as formal as you would for an in-person interview.
Just because the interviewer can only see your upper body does not mean that is all you should focus on. Psychologically, getting fully dressed in business attire will put you in the right frame of mind for an interview. For video, it is best to avoid busy patterns as block colours will look better on camera.
Set up in front of the most neutral background you can find. Ideally, you will have a natural light source behind your computer. To be well proportioned on their screen, make sure there is a bit of empty space on the screen above your head and ensure your shoulders and upper chest are visible.
Consider Non-Verbal Communication
Just as in an in-person interview, body language is a crucial element that determines how the interviewer will perceive you.
Maintaining eye contact is vital to show confidence and help build rapport. Avoid the instinct to look at the person on the screen and instead, when you speak, look directly at your webcam. Doing this means it is more likely the interviewer will think you are looking at them, rather than your keyboard.
When you are listening, look back at the screen. Ensure you nod and smile at appropriate times to communicate that you are paying attention. Maintain good posture and avoid fidgeting or letting your gaze drift away from the screen.
As you would when speaking with someone in-person, use hand gestures where suitable. Staying too still during an interview can give the impression of coldness and you risk the interviewer thinking you are not fully engaged.
Say It Loud & Clear
Speak clearly and do not rush. Keep in mind the risk of poor connection and delay with an online platform, speak at a reasonable pace and be sure to leave a gap after the interviewer has finished speaking to avoid looking like you are ready to speak over them.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you are not familiar with video chat, you might find online interviews a little forced or awkward. Take some time to practice and set up a mock interview with a friend. If you can, record a practice run; then you can play it back and see if you are fidgeting too much or not looking into the camera and can make the necessary adjustments.
Check Your Pre-Video Interview Checklist
On the day of your interview, review this checklist as you are getting ready:
- Ensure that you will not be interrupted.
- Have a copy of your CV and any other notes ready for you to reference. If you have filled out pre-interview questions keep a copy with you.
- Check that your camera is working.
- Check that your audio is working.
- Check your internet connection is working.
- Check that the background behind you is neutral and free from mess.
- Adjust the lighting. It is best to have a natural light source behind your laptop.
- Set your phone to silent.
- Be seated, ready, and relaxed in place at least five-minutes before your interview is due to start.