Video interviewing is rapidly becoming the norm for corporate recruiting departments as HR departments seek out cost-effective ways of interviewing higher volumes of available candidates. Being able to communicate your value to an employer through one-way video (where you video answers to questions they provide) or in a Skype/Zoom conversation is paramount. But it’s important to do it correctly to really sell yourself well.
Here are key video interviewing tips that can help you impress your prospective employer and allow your strengths to resonate with the hiring manager:
• Practice first by making a video of yourself answering sample interview questions—then watch yourself answering the questions on camera. That is what you will most likely look like on the screen to the interviewer. Make note of adjustments, mannerisms, eye contact and background settings when applying these successful video interviewing tips. Also, review camera placement and how you are presented on the screen. The video could narrow in too close on your face, which can create an unflattering look.
• Treat video interviews like a regular interview—and prepare accordingly as if it was a regular in-person interview. That includes doing your research on not only the company, interviewer, job, etc., but also on what you need to know to impress them. Prepare just like you normally would for an in-person or phone interview. For one-way videos and when you get the questions in advance, prepare prior to the actual interview so when you go on video, you already know the answers you will cover. Remember preparation is important to your success in landing that position.
• Be yourself—don’t let technology get in the way. In a physical interview, you would engage in small talk, converse casually, and allow the interviewer to get to know you as a person. People hire people they like as well as those that have the skills—so focus on having the interviewer like you and not be distracted by the technology.
• Even though the interview might be taking place at home with your webcam-don’t lose sight of the formality of this meeting. You need to be professional throughout so silence all pets, leave a sign on your front door to not be disturbed, turn off phone ringers, and shut down any computer notifications that might appear. You don’t want all your new incoming email messages or instant messages to show especially if you are actively interviewing. If you have to go to an office, get there early to allow time to get settled, see how you present on their camera, and possibly do a trial run to test the equipment.
• Look at the background—is it disorganized or professional? Be sure to put forth a clean, professional image by making sure the background is free of visual distractions. Consider taking down family pictures in the background and balance it out by hanging your college degree or perhaps framed media covers if you’ve been featured in major publications. Look to see if you have inappropriate or awkward items within the interviewer’s sight. Additionally, check the lighting. You want a well-lite room, but don’t want the light to shine directly in the interviewer’s eyes or leave shadows.
• Fully dress for the call—yes, wear your suit pants and not your comfy Hawaiian shorts with your collared shirt and suit jacket. You may not think they will see your legs, but if you need to get up for any reason during the interview, can you say, “Awkward?”
• Dress in solid colors-those look best on screen. Video is not the time for that fabulous, new print tie or striped collared shirt—prints and patterns can overpower the screen, which can make it difficult for the interviewer to watch you. It can also detract from what you are saying—and that is the whole point of the interview, yes?
• Video interviewing can leave an impression—literally. Often employers record the interviews and will then review them further with others in the company to compare your answers to other candidates. So be sure what you are sharing in the interview is something that you are okay with being said in a recorded fashion. And just the same as a regular phone or in person interview, no bashing of anyone or any company.
• Put on your best newscaster face—on video and phone interviews, you have to be a little more animated and expressive than you would in person to convey your enthusiasm. Again, that simple test we recommended earlier by filming yourself answering some sample questions to see what it looks like can be so instrumental.
• Memorize important information-don’t rely on notes. Whereas with a phone interview you can rely on notes, video is just like face-to-face interviews where you can’t. It will appear obvious when you look down to review your notes, but it can also cause a gap in your focus. This isn’t to say you can’t have your resume handy as that can be beneficial.
• Test all your tech prior to the interview-even if you used it recently. Make sure that everything is in good working order before you log in and start the interview. Not only can it be a waste of the interviewer’s time, but tech problems can cause additional stress for you which can hurt your interview.
Video is not the wave of the future—it is already here. We all have to embrace it and work at doing it successfully. With the successful video interviewing tips above, you are certain to have a solid start to edge out your competition.
Lisa Rangel, Founder and Managing Director of https://chameleonresumes.com/ LLC (a Forbes Top 100 Career Website), is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Job Landing Consultant & 13-year Recruiter. Lisa is also a paid moderator for LinkedIn’s Premium Career Group, which has 1,300,000+ members. Chameleon Resumes reviews the goals of each client to ensure career documents serve their goals while meeting the needs of the prospective employers.