Your Guide To A Successful Video Interview

Video Interviews

Video interviews are quickly becoming the norm. It used to be they were only used while team members were traveling and wanted to still participate. Now, they are popping up everywhere... even during the application process!

For the company, they save time and money. It's a great way to get your in-person list from 10 down to 2 or 3. For the candidate, they can create stress and uncertainty that gets in the way of a stellar interview performance. Let's fix that.

Preparing for a video interview is just like any other interview, except we layer on technology. Don't let that intimidate you. This quick guide will help you tackle the technology, calm your nerves, and set you up for success.

Your Guide To Video Interview Success

Test Your Technology
First, we work out the kinks and get comfortable with the technology. You may not have access to the exact platform being used, but they are all really similar. So, we will practice using Zoom.

Go out and set up a free account. Get on a practice video call with a friend as the participant (have them set it up as the host from their free account).

As you join the call, you can test your video and audio connections. See how you turn them on/off. Check the quality of each. Make sure your connection is strong in the location you will sit.

If your video is really bad, it could be your internet connection or it could be your webcam. There are external webcams you can buy that plug in with a USB to give a crisp image. It doesn't have to be perfect, just optimize it as best you can.

Your interviewer may plan to use a different platform. You may be able to run these tests there. If not, test in Zoom and plan to join your meeting 10-15 minutes early to make sure everything is working properly.

Prepare The Scene
Choose a location that is quiet, really well lit, and clean. Lighting is key as it will help your video appear more clear. Take note of the background. You want to present the right image to your interviewer.

Make sure you can place your laptop or phone in a place that allows you to be at eye level with the camera. Holding it is not a good choice as the camera will shake a lot and you need to be able to take notes.

Plan to dress the part. Wear exactly what you would if you were showing up in person. Even though it is video, you will make an impression.

Prepare For The Interview
The beauty of a video interview is you can have more cheat sheets around you than is possible in an in-person interview. Wait, what are these cheat sheets?!

I tell my clients to prepare a page in a notebook with a list of story ideas to take inside any interview. Depending on the type of question asked, you have a quick reminder of the best story to tell.

This does NOT mean you read them. Use it as a reminder of sorts... when they ask me this question, I'll tell this story.

Weakness - Story reminder

Time I created a new process - Story reminder

Example of handling conflict - Story reminder

It's that easy! Just make sure you practice telling your stories so they are authentic, succinct, and powerful answers to their questions.

During The Interview
Smile. Be yourself. If you've practiced enough, you should be able to look comfortable on camera. Pretend you are sitting across the table from a friend.

Make eye contact. The way you do that through a video interview is look directly at the camera. You don't have to stare at it the entire time (that would be creepy). If you only look at the other person on the screen, it doesn't look like you're looking at them from their perspective.

As you deliver your responses, make sure you take time to periodically look directly into the camera. Also, never read prepared answers! Speak to them as you would if you were in person.

There is always the possibility something will go wrong during your interview. Try to stay calm. Do your best to navigate the problem and fix it.

Have your recruiter and/or interviewer's contact information available. If something happens, you can call or email them right away and alert them to the issue. Remember how you react tells a lot about how you will handle issues that arise in the workplace. Try to be resourceful. You can even have a friend that is more techy on standby, should you hit a major roadblock.

Want some additional help?

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