Date posted: 1/12/2016 3 min read

How to ace your video job interview

How to impress in a video interview with a potential employer

In brief

  • Check your tech – internet, software and hardware
  • Dress to impress
  • Conduct mock interviews on the same digital platform

Video interviews have become quite commonplace in the past few years, and it’s not limited to employers looking outside of their geographical location either. People are becoming increasingly time poor. It is not unheard of for a potential employer or recruiter to organise a video interview with someone in the same city because, much like a phone interview, the process is faster and you can get a quick sense of the applicant in half the time.

Also faster internet speeds and the availability of videoconferencing apps like Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts help.

Tips to help you impress at your video interview

1. Check hardware and software

It is a good idea to check the hardware, the software, and your internet connection. There is nothing more frustrating and distracting than suffering through avoidable technical difficulties before or during your interview.

  • Check that your computer’s hardware can support the video software without slowing down. Sometimes other programs can take up memory and slow down your operating system so it’s a wise move to restart your computer before your interview to ensure that no other programs are running in the background
  • Download, install and set up the video chat software to the required preferences, testing the microphone and camera as you go
  • Make sure all your peripherals, such as webcam or headset are in good working order
  • If you get slower than average internet speed at home this could cause lagging or increased buffering which is time consuming and an unnecessary distraction. Consider going somewhere where you will achieve faster speeds, such as the home of family or friends

2. Location, location, location

Just because you’re conducting the interview at your home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wary of the actual location. Try to find a quiet place in your home that is free of ambient noise, do not play music or have the TV on in the background as your microphone will also pick up those sounds and make your responses hard to hear.

A blank wall is the best backdrop but if that isn’t a possibility make sure to avoid spots that have a lot of clutter in the background. It sends the message that you’re disorganised.

3. Practice

Ask someone to conduct a mock interview with you on the same videoconference platform that your actual interview will be on. This allows you to both test that the software works well, and let you practise speaking to a screen.

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s important to make “eye contact” with your interviewer but to do that you should look directly into the camera, and not at your interviewer’s actual eyes on the screen.

Also one of the best things about being at home is that no one can see in front of you so it’s ok to have some notes. Pop some keywords and reminders on post-it notes and stick them around your screen so you don’t have to look away from the screen when referring to them.

4. Look the part

Picture a passport photo. That is how you should appear on the screen, from the top of your head to just below your shoulders. You should be dressed as you would if you were at an actual in-person interview. Keep both your appearance and demeanour professional at all times.

This article was first published in the February 2016 issue of Acuity magazine.

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