5 Tips for Successful Video Interviews

While often taken as a poor substitute for a face-to-face in-person interview, the benefits of video interviews – efficient, cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, etc. – make it likely that they will be here to stay.
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With the coronavirus making in-person meetings uncomfortable or even impossible, hiring managers and recruiters are turning to video interviews to meet and screen their candidates. While often taken as a poor substitute for a face-to-face in-person interview, the benefits of video interviews – efficient, cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, etc. – make it likely that they will be here to stay.

Some of the advantages of meeting in-person – establishing rapport and building trust, sufficient time to impress the interviewer and make a great impression – can be achieved during your video interview, if you take note of these tips for a successful interview.

1. Find a good backdrop

Before your interview, think about which setting is best for you. Avoid having the interview in a cafe, in a car, or anywhere outdoors where you may be interrupted, as the background might be very distracting to both you and the interviewer.  

If you’re having the interview in the comfort of your home, check to see if there are any distractions in your background, or if the lighting is suitable for the video. While most interviewers tend not to bother about these details, having placed some thought into making your backdrop the least distracting would definitely have a positive impact on your interview.

2. Check your device angles

We often recommend a computer or laptop for a video interview, but if you can only use a phone for the video interview, be sure to place your device at an angle that is appropriate for the interview. You’d want the interviewer to feel like he or she is meeting you, and not viewing you from an awkward and unflattering angle.

Adjust the interviewer’s video, so you can appear to maintain eye contact comfortably, and not look glassy-eyed or detached.

3. Remove distractions

As we’re not physically in a prospective employer’s office, we might feel tempted to keep our phones on the table, or open other tabs on the computer, thinking that it might go unnoticed. Slight distractions by these notifications will leave your interviewer feeling disrespected and will not make for a good interview experience.

Remove all distractions from your surroundings before the interview. Silence your phone, close unnecessary windows on the computer.

4. Test the technology

Even if you’ve gone through several video interviews using the same applications and devices, it’s always good to test your technology before the actual interview. To avoid unnecessary time wasted on a bad start, check if your microphone and camera are working properly.

5. Get psyched up

For an interview to be successful, you’ll need to establish rapport and build trust with your interviewer. We tend to feel more comfortable and at ease when we’re not in the interview room, but we have to make up for the energy by psyching ourselves up for the video interview. 

Put energy and enthusiasm into your voice, and use non-verbal communication (smiles and gestures) to make the conversation an engaging one!

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