In case you haven’t heard, video interviews are the “thing” right now, and they’re here to stay. If you’re applying for a job that is far from where you live or if you’re applying for a position that is expected to receive a lot of applicants, it’s very likely that you’ll be requested to perform a video interview either live or on-demand. According to a survey and infographic by GreenJobInterview, 66% of companies used video interviews to conduct virtual live or recorded interviews in 2015. Of that, almost 20% conducted video interviews for more than 50 candidates. As we inch toward the second half of 2016, it’s expected that video interviewing technology will become more and more popular as businesses strive to save money on travel and reduce cost of hire and time to hire.
For some people, the idea of a video interview must sound very intimidating. After all, most of us don’t spend much time talking to a camera. Have no fear! These four interview tips can help you breeze through your next video interview with ease and have the hiring manager beating down your door for a second one. Even if you are the hiring manager, these tips can help you feel more comfortable during a video interview with a candidate.
Tips for Participating in a Video Interview
1. Have Light Facing You
In order to show up well on webcam, lighting is very important. When choosing a location to sit for your interview, do not sit where a window will be behind you. If possible, face a window and have lights directed toward you. This will make you look much better on camera, which makes a great first impression when you and the hiring manager join the interview. After all, you don’t want the first thing they say to be “I can’t see you.”
2. Location, Location, Location
One major benefit of video interviews is that they are more flexible on both the candidate and scheduler’s schedules. If you’re taking a recorded interview, you can usually take it any time you want, which means you can wait until you get home after work when you’re better prepared. On the other hand, a live virtual interview requires you to pick a location during that scheduled time that meets a few requirements.
Here are a few things to think about:
- Avoid noisy areas or public places
- Consider your background (do not interview in a bathroom or kitchen)
- Make sure you’re not competing for a Wi-Fi connection, such as at work or in public
- Lock up your pets, unless you want your cat jumping up to greet your hiring manager
- Interview away from people who will distract you or end up in your video shot
3. Dress to Impress
Even though you’re not physically meeting your interviewer, you still need to make a great impression. Dress professionally, just like you would for an in-person interview, but avoid heavy patterns that may not show up well on camera.
In addition to your attire, avoid fast movements on camera to keep looking your best. Quick hand movements or chair swiveling may affect the quality of your video stream. Simply stay still and focus on the interview.
4. Look at the Camera
During any video chat, it’s very easy to get distracted by the image on the screen instead of looking at the camera. Just like an in-person interview, eye contact is important. Try moving the video screen right underneath your webcam to encourage eye contact or making the window smaller so that it will be less distracting.
It also helps to have the webcam pointed down toward you rather than up at you. If possible, place your laptop or monitor on a slightly higher surface so that the webcam can point down to you. This not only looks better on camera but it forces you to look upward instead of accidentally looking down too much, as this may be a turn-off for your interviewer.
5. Eliminate Noise & Distractions
This may be obvious, but don’t forget to turn off or mute your phone and other electronics. A video interview may use VOIP or your phone for sound, but if you don’t need it, mute it. Keep your interview space clean and clutter free, and close doors and windows during the duration of the video call to keep distractions to a minimum.
Remember, these aren’t the only things to consider when preparing for a video interview. Just like any interview, you need to do your research ahead of time and remain confident throughout. Video interviews are here to stay, so it’s time to make yourself comfortable in front of the camera!
If you follow these tips, you’re sure to WOW your hiring manager and ace your next video interview.